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Akcansa, Cimsa Plan to Buy Cement Companies Outside Turkey

Akcansa Cimento Sanayi & Ticaret AS, and Cimsa Cimento Sanayi & Ticaret AS, Turkish cement makers, plan two separate acquisitions abroad this year, said Mehmet Gocmen, head of Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS’s cement group.

Akcansa, owned by HeidelbergCement AG and Sabanci Holding, and Cimsa, with a combined 20 percent share in Turkey’s cement production, are looking at companies in Turkey’s geographical region, Gocmen told a news conference in embargoed comments late yesterday. The targets could be based in central and southern Europe to the Caucasus and Middle East, he said.

Akcansa and Cimsa each have sufficient equity to make the acquisitions without any borrowing, Gocmen said. “Should shareholders add some more financing, bigger acquisitions are also possible,” he said.

Cimsa is also waiting for the result of an auction in which its bidding to buy Turkish cement maker Afyon Cimento Sanayi TAS from İtalcementi SpA’s Ciments Francais SA, Gocmen said.

Turkish Market

Akcansa and Cimsa plan inorganic growth both in Turkey and abroad because regulations don’t allow a single company to control more than 25 percent of the domestic market, Gocmen said. About 20 international and local cement producers, including Italcementi and Cimpor Cimentos de Portugal SGPS SA, operate in Turkey. Akcansa and Cimsa are also interested in opportunities domestically, Gocmen said.

Cimsa rose 1.4 percent to 8.78 liras and Akcansa was unchanged at 7.40 liras at 4:34 p.m. in Istanbul. The main share index gained 0.2 percent.

Turkey, where cement makers run at almost full capacity, can produce 70 million metric tons annually and cement consumption is expected to grow 4.5 percent this year after growing an estimated 11 percent to 56.1 million tons in 2011, Gocmen said. The remaining output was exported last year, with exports dropping 4.5 million tons from 2010, he said. Cement exports, mostly to Russia, Argentina and Brazil, will probably decline further in 2012, Gocmen said.

Sabanci Holding’s cement division expects this year’s sales at 2 billion liras ($1.1 billion), after an estimated 20 percent growth last year, according to Gocmen. Akcansa will invest 125 million liras this year and Cimsa 100 million liras, excluding any possible acquisitions, he said.

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