Rationale for Purchasing a Cement Company in Panama

The president of "Cementos Argos" explains their decision of buying Holcim's operations in the region.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The expansion of the Canal is a great opportunity for the cement company. In addition to purchasing Holcim's assets in Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic and several Caribbean islands, Argos is also expanding production capacity in its Cartagena Plant in Colombia, with a new clinker line that will allow them to produce 1.800.000 tons per year.

In an interview with newspaper La Estrella, José Alberto Vélez, president of Cementos Argos, gave some insight on the operation, and remarked that "for the next three years, Argos does not see Panama as a platform for exporting to other destinations, because of the opportunities observed in the country's construction sector and the Canal expansion".



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The $157 million transaction will place the Colombian cement producer in a prevailing position in the Central American market.

Swiss cement maker Holcim, the world's second largest, made this announcement: "As a consequence of the nationalisation of Holcim Venezuela, the long-term economics of supplying Holcim-produced clinker and cement to the grinding stations and terminals in Panama and the Caribbean is no longer viable".

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