Brazil's CSN back in the race for CIMPOR; ups ante by 7.5 per cent

One of the largest Brazilian steel producers, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) is back in the triangular contest for the control of Portugal's biggest cement manufacturer Cimentos de Portugal, SGPS SA (CIMPOR), by raising its cash offer to €6.18 a share, up 7.5 per cent from its previous unsolicited bid of €5.75 a share. (See: Brazil's CSN bids $5.5 billion for Portugal cement maker CIMPOR)

The steel major has also relaxed its condition for the acquisition to 'at least one-third of the capital of CIMPOR plus one share,' in place of the earlier '50 per cent plus one share' in the cement maker, a statement released by CSN yesterday revealed. 

The new offer values CIMPOR at approximately €4.15 billion against the earlier €3.86 billion, for the outstanding 672 million shares of the company. CSN's previous offer was rejected by the CIMPOR board on the grounds that it undervalued the company.

Lisbon-based CIMPOR is the largest Portuguese group producing cement, hydraulic lime, aggregates and concrete products, with a total installed cement capacity is over 31 million tonnes spread over 13 countries including Brazil. The company's annual turnover is around $3 billion.

The two other contenders who already have bought stakes in the Portuguese cement maker include Brazilian business conglomerate Camargo Correa SA (Camargo), and the country's largest cement producer Votorantim Cimentos SA (Votorantim) of the Votorantim Group.

Camargo became the largest shareholder of CIMPOR on Wednesday when it acquired 22.17-per cent stake through an off-market transaction, at a price of €6.50 a share. (See: Battle for CIMPOR: Camargo acquires Teixeira Duarte's 22-per cent stake for 1.33 billion)