Cement washout: Debt-saddled Cemex mulling Philippine exit after 16 years

Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. is “actively evaluating divesting opportunities” in the Philippines after completing a P2.1 billion tender offer.

The Mexico-based cement giant said the assessment of the future of Cemex Holdings Philippines (CHP) was part of its ongoing strategy to optimize and rebalance asset portfolios outside its core market like Asia.

“Regarding divestments, CASEC actively evaluates divestment opportunities, and does not rule out that, in the short or medium term, it may sell all of CHP’s shares or cause the divestment by CHP of one or more of the operations and/or assets, to other companies that are part of the group headed by Cemex or unrelated parties,” said Cemex.

“As of (March 31), no divestment transaction is imminent and CASEC cannot guarantee that any such divestment opportunities, if any arise, will be consummated,” Cemex added.

Cemex indirectly owns 89.86 percent of CHP through CEMEX Asian South East Corp (CASEC).

The company has embarked on a new strategy to optimize its global portfolio for higher growth with lower risk, including “strategic divestments to streamline its portfolio and delever while seeking attractive, bolt-on investment opportunities in Cemex’s footprint.”

Cemex wants to focus its investments in the United States and USA and Europe. It also plans to zero in on investments in big cities where there is a lot of potential for growth.

Since announcing its shift in direction in September 2020, Cemex has divested from Costa Rica and El Salvador.

Cemex entered the Philippine market in 1997 with an initial 30 percent in Rizal Cement. It was later merged with Solid Cement and Apo cement.

It has two cement plants – in Antipolo and Cebu – with a combined capacity of 5.7 million tons. It has roughly 750 employees.

CHP has struggled to pay the $280 million its borrowed from BDO Unibank to finance its Antipolo expansion in 2017. The much-delayed factory line, which would add 1.5 million in new capacity, is expected to start operations in April 2024.

It booked a net loss of P1 billion in 2022, a reversal from the P725.5 million profit it recorded the previous year.

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Cemex PH swings to P1B loss on forex losses, surging cost of sales

Bahala kayo! Loss-making Cemex neutral on P2.1 billion tender offer to shareholders

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