Cemex Latam CEO Resigns After Probe Into Colombia Plant Payments

  • Probe reveals $20 million payment to non-government person
  • Chairman Jaime Muguiro to take over as Cemex Latam CEO

Cemex Latam Holdings SA, a unit of the largest cement maker in the Americas, said its chief executive officer has resigned to “facilitate investigations” after an internal probe found payments related to a cement plant being built in Antioquia province in Colombia didn’t adhere to company policy.

Cemex found payments of about $20 million had been made to a non-government individual for land and mining rights, and benefits related to a tax-free area where the Maceo cement plant is being constructed, according to a regulatory filing posted Friday on the Colombian financial regulator’s website. The company says it immediately terminated the vice president for planning and the general attorney for its Latin American and Colombian units.

Cemex has informed Colombian prosecutors of results of its internal probe, according to the statement, adding that it can’t say whether investigations and actions taken will affect the company. Cemex Latam Chairman Jaime Muguiro, who’s been with the company for about 20 years, will take over CEO duties in the coming days. While the statement doesn’t provide officials’ names, Carlos Jacks is listed as CEO of Cemex Latam and Colombia on the company’s website.

The company reported second-quarter net income of $55 million, up 43 percent from a year ago. When Cemex Latam announced in August 2014 that it would build the plant in northwestern Antioquia province, it said the facility would cost around $340 million and would increase cement production by about 1 million metric ton to 5.5 million tons.

The filing was published after market hours. Cemex Latam fell 1.4 percent in Bogota trading on Friday to 13,120 pesos.

Cemex Latam Holdings is a building materials company operating in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Brazil, according to its website.

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