September 30, 2014
Mexican cement company Cemex said on Tuesday it had inked a new credit agreement with nine banks worth $1.35 bln, the proceeeds of which will be used to refinance debt. Cemex, which has grappled with a heavy debt burden and cost-cutting since the global downturn, said in a statement the agreement had an average 4 year-term, with equal semi-annual principal payments of 20 percent.
September 24, 2014
Billionaires Carlos Slim and Antonio del Valle are doubling down on the Mexican cement industry, wagering a demographic boom and government subsidies will sustain a homebuilding recovery after last year’s collapse. Elementia SAB, the Mexican cement maker backed by Slim and del Valle, agreed Sept. 19 to pay Lafarge SA (LG) $225 million for the 47 percent stake of cement maker Cementos Fortaleza it didn’t already own. Hours later, Mexico City-based Elementia disclosed plans for an initial public offering, which will be used to fund expansion projects, according to a prospectus on the Mexican stock exchange’s website.
September 18, 2014
Mexican cement producer Cemex said on Wednesday it would buy back more than $950 million worth of its debt from bondholders through a tender offer, as part of a wider plan under a new chief executive to reduce its leverage. Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement maker, said holders of $592.5 million worth of outstanding 9 percent notes due in 2018 and $365.1 million worth of 9.25 percent notes due in 2020 had tendered their notes by the Wednesday deadline.
July 18, 2014
Mexico’s Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement companies, on Friday reported its first quarterly profit since the financial crisis in 2009 and said sales rose by double-digits in the United States and the Mediterranean, even as its home market remained weak.
The company reported an unexpected profit of $76 million, mostly driven by a $77 million gain from a derivative position tied to the company’s own share price. Cemex stock rose 9.5 percent in the second quarter.
May 13, 2014
NY Times, 5/12/14
Lorenzo Zambrano, who transformed Cemex SA de Mexico from a regional cement producer into a global player, died Tuesday in Spain, the company said. Zambrano, 70, died in Madrid of natural causes, the company said without giving other details. Trained as an engineer, Zambrano was considered one of the most important businessmen in Mexico. He became Cemex’s chief executive officer in 1985. A decade later he added the title of chairman of the board of directors.
With Zambrano at the helm, the Monterrey-based company expanded beyond Mexico and now has operations in 50 countries on five continents. Cemex has been the world’s largest supplier of cement, and possibly the biggest building materials supplier, since 2007, when it won a controlling stake in Australia’s Rinker Group Ltd. The company said in a statement that “the operation and administration of the group will continue to develop normally” and that in the coming days the board of directors would meet to decide how to proceed.
June 14, 2013
Jesus Villaseca (Flickr)
The Economist, 6/13/2013
ON ONE side of a low hill in the middle of Monterrey, Mexico’s biggest industrial city, lies Independencia, a district so run down that donkeys still carry heavy goods to the top. On the other side is San Pedro Garza García, one of Latin America’s most affluent neighbourhoods and home to some of its biggest companies.
In the past four years, the yawning social divide between them has been bridged by violence. First, the sound of gun battles between drug gangs fighting in Independencia carried over the hill to the mansions of San Pedro. Then the killings began in San Pedro itself. In a place once considered by its residents to be safer than Texas, just a few hours’ drive away, murders, carjackings and extortion became everyday occurrences. Some rich families fled to Texas—and were branded as “cowards” by Lorenzo Zambrano, the boss of Cemex, a cement-maker which is one of Monterrey’s (and Mexico’s) biggest firms.
February 8, 2013
National Geographic, 2/7/2013
Largely thanks to Oaxaca’s unique geography, Mexico’s wind power capacity expanded to 1,350 megawatts in 2012, according to reports from a national wind industry conference in Mexico City last month, marking nearly a 140 percent expansion in capacity in a single year. Stands of the turbines now fill Oaxacan horizons, with more planned as developers pour millions of dollars into wind farms. While bringing development to the isolated area, the turbines have disrupted pastoral lifestyles and divided villages over leasing fees and other benefits promised to local communities.
The projects have arisen with strong support from Mexico’s central government. Before leaving office in December, Calderón was seen as an active proponent of wind power. The projects also have the participation of well-known Mexican companies, including cement maker Cemex and retailer Walmart de Mexico.