In order to consolidate and complement its network of operating assets in northern South America and the Caribbean, Cementos Argos has acquired Ciments Guyanais, which is owned equally by Lafarge and Holcim, for $68.9 million (50 million euros). The agreement includes a clinker grinding station – with a capacity of 200,000 tpy – and a port near the French Guiana capital of Cayenne.

It was recently announced that Holcim and Lafarge would combine companies in a merger of equals, creating the world’s largest cement maker LafargeHolcim. The two companies are obliged to sell about $7 million (5 billion euros) worth of assets to comply with monopoly regulations.

“This new acquisition in French Guiana nicely complements our current network of assets in the region, especially given its proximity to our grinding facilities in Suriname and our cement terminals in the Antilles,” said Jorge Mario Velásquez, CEO of Argos. “This overseas department of France has a cement consumption per capita of 433 kilos per year, which is almost twice as much as the average in Latin America. Also, the assets are well aligned with the operations that were recently acquired in the United States and with the already existing ones in the Caribbean and Colombia.”

The acquisition introduces a new market into Argos’ Caribbean and Central American Regional Division with characteristics of a developed economy that has shown a dynamic and solid performance for more than a decade. Furthermore, it will allow the company to add a new export destination for clinker to its list, which provides it with an opportunity to continue consolidating recently acquired assets into its existing network throughout 2014. The Ciments Guyanais purchase will be subject to regulatory approval.

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