Italcementi boosts its regional presence

24 June 2005
Italian cement producer and distributor Italcementi has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capitalfor the right to acquire additional equity in Egypt's ASEC Cement Group. The deal came just two weeks after it signed a framework agreement with Saudi Arabia's Arabian Cement Company (ACC) to co-operate on the development of new projects in the kingdom and elsewhere in the region. Italcementi is one of the five largest cement producers worldwide, excluding China.

Under the terms of the MoU with Citadel, Italcementi has been granted the 60-day exclusive right to draw up an agreement for the purchase of the controlling equity investment held by the fund in ASEC. The Italian firm is carrying out due diligence on ASEC's assets. Citadel holds a 68 per cent stake in ASEC and Italcementi has a 22 per cent share. With a market capitalisation of about $550 million, ASEC is Egypt's fifth largest cement group and second largest cement exporter, with an annual production capacity of about 4 million tonnes a year of clinker. The firm has two manufacturing facilities in Helwan and El-Minya. Italcementi also has three cement factories in Morocco.

Under Italcementi's framework agreement with ACC, the firms plan to co-operate on the development of new projects across the region and to complete a masterplan on a greenfield cement plant by the end of the year (MEED 28:1:05).

In March, Italcementi subsidiary Ciments Francaiscompleted the takeover of Suez Cement Company, the country's biggest cement producer (MEED 25:3:05).

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