Camargo Calls Cimpor Bid Fair, Discounts Chance of Rival Offer
Camargo Correa SA said its 2.48 billion-euro ($3.24 billion) offer to buy Cimpor-Cimentos de Portugal SGPS SA is fair and it doesn’t regard a counter bid by Brazilian competitor Votorantim Cimentos SA as likely.
Camargo Correa, whose 33 percent stake in the Portuguese cement producer makes it the biggest investor, bid 5.50 euros a share in cash last month to buy the remaining shares. Votorantim is the second-biggest shareholder in Lisbon-based Cimpor, with a 21 percent stake, according to Cimpor’s website.
“We consider our offer to be fair and to reflect the real value of the company,” Jose Edison, president of Camargo’s Intercement unit, which announced the bid for Cimpor on March 30, said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Asked about the possibility that Votorantim or another Camargo Correa competitor could make a counterbid for Cimpor, Edison said, “We see no reason to consider that scenario.”
“Over the past two years we had the opportunity to contact all major shareholders and interpret their interests and plans for the future,” he said in comments late last week.
Votorantim said in a statement on March 30 it would analyze Camargo Correa’s offer and evaluate “all alternatives.” It did not say what those alternatives were.
Portuguese state-bank Caixa Geral de Depositos SA said in a separate statement that day it would sell its 9.6 percent stake to Sao Paulo-based Camargo Correa if Caixa and Votorantim agreed to end a shareholders’ accord, which gives each party the right of first refusal to buy each other’s holding.
While there is no deal over Cimpor between Votorantim and Camargo Correa, which is Brazil’s second-largest builder, the two Brazilian companies could reach an accord in the future, Edison said.
“We don’t discard the possibility in the future of an agreement that could allow for an improvement of the company’s management as well as attend to the issues related to the defense of competition rules in Brazil,” he said.
Pedro Queiroz Pereira, chairman of holding company Semapa- Sociedade de Investimento e Gestao SGPS SA, which controls cement maker Secil, made a proposal to Portuguese shareholders in Cimpor as an alternative offer made by Camargo Correa, Jornal de Negocios reported today, without saying how it got the information.
Queiroz Pereira was not immediately available for comment.
If Camargo Correa’s bid is successful, the company plans to bet on a “balanced portfolio” for Cimpor that involves making inroads into mature markets and markets with a high potential for growth, Edison said.
“Camargo Correa is open to other investment possibilities in Portugal and in Africa,” he said.
Camargo Correa submitted the registration of its 2.48 billion-euro bid for Cimpor to Portugal’s CMVM securities regulator on April 5, Edison said. Cimpor’s board has eight days to respond to the bid after its registration was submitted, according to an official at the CMVM.
Cimpor spokeswoman Mafalda Correia declined last week to comment on Camargo’s offer.
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