| SAO PAULO
SAO PAULO Dec 8 Brazilian engineering
conglomerate Camargo Correa SA, which this year disposed of
electricity and consumer goods assets, is in talks to sell a
minority stake in Loma Negra Cia Industrial SA, Argentina's No.
1 cement producer, a person familiar with the matter said on
According to the person, who requested anonymity since the
talks are private, Camargo Correa is in negotiations
with a number of unspecified potential bidders, most of which
are investment firms with holdings in industrial companies whose
focus is not solely on cement.
Camargo Correa's interests in cement are all managed by a
São Paulo-based investment holding company known as InterCement.
The billionaire family that controls Camargo Correa has
discussed selling part of InterCement or partially disposing of
assets such as Loma Negra for at least two years, the person
Local financial blog Brazil Journal reported on Thursday
that the Loma Negra deal would involve the sale of a 40-percent
Press representatives for Camargo Correa did not have an
Intentions to dispose of another business come as Camargo
Correa rapidly recovers from the impact of a corruption probe at
state firms that were key clients of the conglomerate's
More investment is slowly flocking to Argentina as President
Mauricio Macri tries to implement more business-friendly
In the case of Camargo Correa, the sales of fashion brand
Alpargatas SA in December and a controlling stake in power
holding company CPFL Energia SA in June were aimed to "create
shareholder value," and not to raise cash to pay fines linked to
a leniency accord related to the probe, the person said.
The conglomerate raised about $2.5 billion from the two
The grandchildren of founder Sebastião Camargo occupy most
of the conglomerate's board seats and are working to transform
Camargo Correa into an investment holding company.
InterCement, Brazil's No. 2 cement maker, is a leading
producer of the construction material in Portugal, Mozambique
and Cabo Verde.
Camargo Correa purchased Loma Negra in 2005 for $1 billion,
the first of a series of acquisitions to strengthen the foothold
of InterCement in emerging markets. Loma Negra was founded in
1926 by Argentine businessman Alfredo Fortabat.
Two people familiar with Camargo Correa's strategy told
Reuters in August that the conglomerate tried to sell a minority
stake in InterCement a couple of years ago and even considered a
listing of the company outside Brasil.
However, the process failed because interested parties -
either for an acquisition or an offering - were unwilling to
meet the group's valuation.
At the time, Camargo Correa hired the investment-banking
units of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA
and Citigroup Inc as financial advisors to the
plan, the people said.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer;
Editing by Daniel Flynn and Nick Zieminski)