(Adds Cemex declining comment, paragraph 7)
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 19 (Reuters) - Camargo Correa SA, the Brazilian family-owned conglomerate that exited several businesses over the past year, has put a cement unit up for sale, a column in newspaper O Globo reported on Sunday.
According to Globo columnist Lauro Jardim, Camargo Correa values the unit known as InterCement SA at about 20 billion reais ($6.47 billion).
The conglomerate has received offers from Mexico’s Cemex SAB and another, unnamed Latin America-based cement producer, the column said.
Jardim’s column did not specify if the bids for InterCement were non-binding or how advanced the process may be.
A Camargo spokesman declined to confirm the report and said in an emailed statement that “the group is not pursuing any asset divestitures.”
The spokesman said its sale last June of a controlling stake in power holding company CPFL Energia SA was “the end of a process of repositioning the group’s asset portfolio.”
A Cemex spokesman said the company did not comment on speculation.
In order to reduce debt, the billionaire family that controls Camargo Correa has been quickly disposing of business lines it no longer wants.
As part of those efforts, the Camargos in recent years have discussed fully or partially selling InterCement. The CPFL sale and a December 2015 sale of fashion brand Alpargatas SA raised about $2.8 billion for the group.
Reuters reported on Dec. 8 that Camargo Correa was considering disposing of a partial stake in Loma Negra Cia Industrial SA, Argentina’s No. 1 cement producer and part of InterCement.
InterCement is Brazil’s No. 2 cement producer and a leading producer in Portugal, Mozambique and Cape Verde.
Two people familiar with Camargo Correa’s strategy told Reuters in August that the conglomerate tried to sell a minority stake in InterCement a couple of years ago and also considered a listing of the company outside Brazil.
Camargo Correa, whose engineering unit was one of several big Brazilian builders ensnared in a massive corruption probe related to business with state companies, has been recovering rapidly from the adverse effects of the scandal, in which it sought a plea deal. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal in Sao Paulo; Additional reporting by Gabriel Stargardter in Mexico City; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Peter Cooney)