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Holcim seeks capital for Mexican deal

Holcim wants to strengthen its financial position. Holcim

The world’s number two cement producer, the Holcim group, has said it wants to raise SFr1.5 billion ($1.18 billion) to boost its stake in the Apasco company of Mexico.

Holcim said the rights issue would increase its stake in Apasco from 68.9 per cent to 93.4 per cent at a cost of $590.9 million.

In a statement from its Zurich headquarters, Holcim said that it was “delighted” that its public tender offer made to Apasco minority shareholders had been widely accepted.

Under Holcim’s plans for the number two player in Mexico, Apasco will be delisted from the Mexican stock exchange.

Holcim, which has a market capitalisation of almost SFr13 billion, offered $750 million in January to take full control of Apasco, saying it wanted to “tie” it more tightly into the group.

The regulatory authorities of Mexico approved the transaction in February.

Issue terms in mid-May

The terms of the issue will be published after approval by Holcim shareholders at their annual meeting on May 14, the statement said.

Holcim added that the share capital would be increased by issuing a maximum of 33.54 million registered shares. The new shares will entitle holders to a full dividend for the current financial year.

The group commented that the raised capital would help underpin the Mexican transaction and financial investments made since the previous capital increase in June 2001, which together total some SFr3 billion.

It said this would enable the group, which also makes concrete and aggregates, to “reinforce its financial profile” and set the basis for further growth.

swissinfo with agencies

Holcim has proposed a SFr1.5 billion capital increase to raise its stake in Apasco of Mexico.

Under the plan, Holcim would have to spend $590.9 million to increase its stake to 93.4 per cent.

The capital increase would be carried out with subscription rights for existing shareholders.

The terms of the increase are to be published after approval by shareholders at their annual meeting on May 14.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR