HeidelbergCement sells U.S. assets for $660 million before takeover

BERLIN (Reuters) - German cement and aggregates producer HeidelbergCement has agreed to sell assets in the United States to fulfill anti-trust requirements for its takeover of Italian rival Italcementi ITAI.MI, the company said on Thursday.

HeidelbergCement HEIG.DE said it will sell its Martinsburg, West Virginia cement plant and eight related terminals to Colombian cement-maker Cementos Argos CCB.CN for $660 million and expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Together with the disposals of the non-core assets and the Belgium assets of Italcementi we have exceeded our 1 billion euro target on disposal proceeds and thereby further improved the net financial position of HeidelbergCement,” Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele said in a statement.

He said the disposal program resulting from the Italcementi deal was therefore completed. A spokesman for HeidelbergCement said that in total, recent disposals had brought it around 1.14 million euros ($1.29 million).

Cementos Argos said in a statement filed to Colombia’s financial regulator early on Thursday that the acquisition would increase the company’s production capacity in the United States by 29 percent to 9.9 million tonnes.

The Martinsburg plant has an annual output capacity of 2.2 million tonnes, the company said.

Cementos Argos reported Wednesday its net profit was up 26.8 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, at 180 billion pesos, or about $62 million, because of sales abroad.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan in Berlin and Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; Editing by Andrea Shalal and Bernadette Baum