LafargeHolcim Is Said to Explore Sale of Brazilian Cement Unit

LafargeHolcim Ltd., the world’s biggest cement maker, is exploring a sale of its Brazilian unit, which could be valued at as much as $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Swiss-Franco company has hired Banco Itau BBA to advise on the potential divestment, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. LafargeHolcim could sell all its local factories in Brazil to one buyer or split the assets, the people said.

Under Chief Executive Officer Jan Jenisch, LafargeHolcim has been selling off assets that don’t contribute to its core operations in an effort to reduce debt levels. Since a turnaround plan announced in 2018, the Switzerland-based company has sought to prune activities outside Europe in countries including Indonesia and Malaysia.

Plans to dispose of its assets in Brazil form a continuation of this effort, the people said. LafargeHolcim has 12 factories in Brazil, according to the nation’s cement producers association SNIC. Representatives for LafargeHolcim and Banco Itau declined to comment.

Cement sales in Brazil are rising again after years of contraction, boosted by construction companies that remained active during pandemic lockdowns and those working from home looking to refit their houses. A total of 62.9 million tons of cement was sold in the country in the 12 months through March, a 15% year-on-year increase, SNIC figures show.

Shares in LafargeHolcim have risen almost 59% over the last 12 months, giving it a market value of 35 billion Swiss francs ($38 billion).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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