HeidelbergCement Said Choosing Bidders for $1 Billion Assets

  • German company said to sell Italcementi’s Belgian, U.S. assets
  • Cimsa Cimento, Cementir among bidders for Belgian business

HeidelbergCement AG has made a preliminary selection among more than a dozen offers for $1 billion of assets owned by Italcementi SpA in Belgium and the U.S. that the German producer has to sell before completing the planned acquisition of its Italian competitor, said people familiar with the matter.

Bidders chosen to do due diligence of Italcementi’s Belgian business include Cimsa Cimento Sanayi, owned by Turkey’s second-biggest group of companies Haci Omer Sabanci Holding, and Italy’s Cementir Holding SpA, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The unit could be valued around $400 million, said one of the people.

HeidelbergCement has also selected bids for the U.S. assets, which are valued at more than $600 million, said one of the people. Bidders getting through to the due diligence phase include Summit Materials Inc., a cement maker based in Denver, and CRH Plc of Ireland, one of the people said.

Spokespeople for HeidelbergCement, Sabanci, Cementir, CRH and Summit declined to comment.

Shares in Cimsa Cimento surged as much as 1.7 percent to 15.41 liras at 11:58 a.m. in Istanbul while its parent Sabanci Holding was trading 0.3 percent higher at 9.25 liras.

Antitrust

HeidelbergCement agreed in July to acquire an initial 45 percent stake in Italcementi in a deal valuing the Bergamo, Italy-based producer at 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion). The move to create the world’s second-biggest maker of the building material was designed to counter the creation of larger competitor LafargeHolcim SA and expand in southern Europe and Africa. The Pesenti family, which has run Italcementi for more than 150 years, will keep a 5.3 percent stake in HeidelbergCement after the deal is completed.

The deal was approved in May by the European Commission on the condition that HeidelbergCement sell Italcementi’s Belgian business in order to remove antitrust concerns. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission required the company to divest cement plants in Martinsburg, Virginia, and up to 11 cement distribution terminals in six other states.

Both Cimsa and Cementir are looking to expand in Europe and the Belgian assets would fit this strategy, said the people familiar with their bids. The sale is still at a preliminary stage and no final decision has been made.

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