(Adds no comment from companies involved)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer
SAO PAULO Dec 8 Brazilian engineering
conglomerate Camargo Correa SA is in talks to sell a minority
stake in Loma Negra Cia Industrial SA, Argentina's No. 1 cement
producer, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Camargo Correa is in negotiations with a number
of unspecified potential bidders, most of which are investment
firms with holdings in industrial companies whose focus is not
solely on cement, according to the person, who requested
anonymity since the talks are private,
Camargo Correa disposed of electricity and consumer goods
assets earlier this year. Its cement interests are all managed
by a São Paulo-based investment holding firm known as
For at least two years, the billionaire family that controls
Camargo Correa has discussed selling part of InterCement or
partially disposing of assets such as Loma Negra, the person
Local financial blog Brazil Journal reported on Thursday
that the Loma Negra deal would involve the sale of a 40-percent
stake. InterCement declined to comment, while Camargo Correa did
not have an immediate comment.
Camargo Correa has been recovering rapidly from the adverse
effects of a corruption probe at state firms that were key
clients of the conglomerate's engineering unit. At the same
time, Argentina has been slowly luring more investment as
President Mauricio Macri tries to implement more
Camargo Correa raised about $2.5 billion from the sales of
fashion brand Alpargatas SA in December and a controlling stake
in power holding company CPFL Energia SA in June.
The grandchildren of founder Sebastião Camargo occupy most
of the conglomerate's board seats and are working to transform
Camargo Correa into an investment holding company.
InterCement, Brazil's No. 2 cement maker, is a leading
producer of the construction material in Portugal, Mozambique
and Cabo Verde.
Camargo Correa purchased Loma Negra in 2005 for $1 billion,
the first of a series of acquisitions to strengthen the foothold
of InterCement in emerging markets. Loma Negra was founded in
1926 by Argentine businessman Alfredo Fortabat.
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 even considered a
listing of the company outside Brasil.
However, the process failed because interested parties -
either for an acquisition or an offering - were unwilling to
meet the group's valuation.
Camargo Correa has since hired the investment-banking units
of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA
and Citigroup Inc as financial advisers to the
sale plan, the two people said.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer;
Editing by Daniel Flynn and Tom Brown)