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Camargo bid could see off CSN

World Cement,

The battle for control of Cimpor continues with the latest news that the Carmargo Correa Group has agreed to buy a US$ 1.3 billion stake in Cimpor. Bloomberg Business Week reports that by becoming the biggest shareholder, Camargo Correa will have derailed CSN’s hopes of controlling the Portuguese cement producer. The Brazilian conglomerate has also indicated that it may increase its stake by acquiring a further 3% from third parties. At the beginning of February the Votorantim Group said that it holds a 26.9% stake in Cimpor after agreeing to buy Lafarge’s 17.28% stake. Earlier, CSN’s €3.68 billion takeover bid for Cimpor had been rejected on the grounds that “it was significantly undervaluing” the company. Camargo Correa and Votorantim together now control nearly 50% of Cimpor.

In another move, CSN has filed an antitrust complaint seeking to halt Votorantim’s purchase of Lafarge’s stake in Cimpor, asking “to immediately paralyze the effects in Brazil of the transaction” between the two companies.

Camargo Correa is one of Brazil’s largest construction and engineering companies. Its cement division owns nine mills in Argentina and seven in Brazil making it one of the largest cement manufacturers in Latin America. Votorantim Cimentos SA is Brazil’s top cement and concrete manufacturer products. It operates 25 plants in Brazil and seven in North America.

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