HeidelbergCement to sell US assets to Colombia's Cementos Argos for $660 mn

German cement giant HeidelbergCement today struck a deal to sell its US assets to its Colombian rival Cementos Argos SA for $660 million to comply with anti-trust requirements for its acquisition of Italcementi.

HeidelbergCement, through its subsidiaries Essroc Corp. and Lehigh Hanson, Inc, had entered into a definitive agreement with Argos USA, a subsidiary of Cementos Argos, to sell its Martinsburg, West Virginia cement plant and eight related terminals.

The disposal was required by US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address competition concerns arising from the Italcementi acquisition.

Earlier, the European Commission cleared the acquisition on condition that that HeidelbergCement sells Italcementi's entire business in Belgium. (See: EU regulator grants conditional approval to HeidelbergCement-Italcementi's $4.1-bn merger) Argos deal is subject to the approval of the FTC and other customary closing conditions, expected 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 target on disposal proceeds and thereby further improved the net financial position of HeidelbergCement," CEO, Bernd Scheifele, said in a statement.

In July last year, HeidelbergCement, the world's second-biggest cement maker, struck a deal to buy rival Italcementi for €3.7 billion, its biggest acquisition since it purchased Britain's Hanson Plc in 2009 for £7.9 billion.

With annual revenues of €13.5 billion in 2015, HeidelbergCement is one of the world's largest building materials companies employing around 45,450 people and operating in more than 40 countries.

Its core business includes the production and distribution of cement and aggregates, the two essential raw materials for the manufacture of concrete.