Cement holding firm Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc. (Seacem) has sold its 19-percent stake in Lafarge Republic Inc. (LRI) for P11.32 billion.
The transaction was part of Seacem’s earlier stated intention to consolidate assets and investments as well as review opportunities for entering into transactions with third parties looking for a backdoor listing vehicle.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Seacem said it has completed the sale of 1.11 billion common shares at P10.20 each. Of these, 951.2 million shares were sold to Calumboyan Holdings Inc. (CHI) and 161.88 million to Lafarge Holdings (Philippines Inc.)
CHI is the controlling shareholder of Seacem owning around 62 percent of the holding firm while South Western Cement Ventures is an affiliate company of LRI.
The company’s board has also declared the company’s treasury shares as property dividends, payment of which is pending tax clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Trading on Seacem’s shares is currently suspended at the local stock market due to the company’s failure to comply with the 10-percent minimum public float required by the PSE for continuing listing. The company has 2.41-percent public ownership and P13.25 billion in market capitalization based on the last traded price of P2.40 a share on Dec. 28.
Previously, Seacem conducted a voluntary tender offer to buy back its own shares in exchange for a mix of shares in LRI and cash. The exercise allowed LRI to meet the 10-percent minimum public float required to remain listed on the PSE but shrunk Seacem’s own float.
For its part, LRI plans to increase its production capacity this 2013, supplying an additional one million tons of cement a year throughout the Philippines after it has completed a set of investment projects. LRI has invested to revamp its Danao grinding plant in Cebu and to ease bottlenecks at its mill Norzagaray, Bulacan.
LRI is engaged in the manufacture, development, exploitation and sale of cement, marble and all other kinds and classes of building materials as well as the processing or manufacture of materials for any industrial or commercial purposes. It has experienced strong demand for products and services from both public and private construction investments in 2012 and expects another year of sales and earnings growth this 2013.