The acquisition race for Portuguese cement maker Cimentos de Portugal SGPS SA (CIMPOR) took a new turn on Wednesday when Brazilian business conglomerate Camargo Correa SA (Camargo) agreed to buy a 22.17-per cent stake in the company from Portuguese construction major Teixeira Duarte for approximately €968 million ($1.33 billion).
Camargo's acquisition involves around 149 million CIMPOR shares at a price of €6.5 a share through an off-market transaction, by which Camargo will become the largest single shareholder of the company along with associated voting rights.
Last week, another Brazilian contender Votorantim Cimentos SA, the country's largest cement producer and a member of the Votorantim Group, acquired a 17.28-per cent stake in CIMPOR, held by France's Lafarge SA, the world leader in building materials. (See: Battle for CIMPOR: Votorantim buys Lafarge's 17.28-per cent stake)
Camargo had expressed its interest last month to buy 15 to 25-per cent stake in the Portuguese cement maker. Subsequently, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) notified Camargo to submit its counterbid as per CMVM rules in 10 days or withdraw its merger proposal. (See: Race for CIMPOR: Camargo given 10 days to submit counterbid)
Earlier in December, one of the largest steel producers in Brazil, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) launched an unsolicited offer for the takeover of CIMPOR for €5.75 per CIMPOR share with a total value of approximately €3.86 billion ($5.5 billion). CSN's offer was conditional on obtaining 50 per cent plus one share in the cement maker's 672 million outstanding shares. (See: Brazil's CSN bids $5.5 billion for Portugal cement maker CIMPOR)
It was believed that Camargo withdrew from the race on the grounds that its proposal could trouble current offers.