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InterCement receives non-binding acquisition offers; expected to roll over standstill agreement with banks

InterCement (C/SD) has received non-binding offers for the potential acquisition of its assets in Brazil and Argentina, two sources close to the matter said.

The cement maker has received five proposals for the business in Brazil, and four proposals for its Argentine subsidiary, Loma Negra, all non-binding, the first source said. Brazilian steelmaker CSN and China’s Huaxin Cement are among the bidders, according to the same source.

Meanwhile, on the debt restructuring front, InterCement is expected to again roll over a standstill agreement it reached with banks holding its domestic debentures, according to the first source and a third source close. The company has already sent a formal request to renew the standstill, the first source said.

InterCement reached a agreement with BradescoBanco do Brasil and Itau to defer principal and interest payments, which expires on 8 December.

The terms of a final debt restructuring agreement will depend on the development of InterCement’s asset sale processes, and the bank lenders “have been very supportive,” the first source said.

Huaxin Cement is seen as a strong candidate, with access to low-cost financing and zero antitrust restriction risk, according to the first source.

For InterCement, a deal with a company that does not yet have operations in Brazil would mean a “much faster process between signing and closing,” compared to a company that could face restrictions from Brazilian antitrust watchdog CADE, the first source said.

On 27 June, InterCement reached an agreement with Huaxin Cement to sell its business in Mozambique and South Africa for USD 265m. The Brazilian cement maker expects to close the sale of its African units by year-end, as reported.

CSN is interested in InterCement’s business in both Brazil and Argentina, but does not want to spend cash on acquisitions. Instead it would prefer to increase the debt of the operation that may be acquired – a transaction that would involve the transfer of the debt from a holding company to a subsidiary, according to the first source.

Nevertheless, CSN has not made an offer that “makes sense” for InterCement, the first source said.

An official at InterCement declined to comment on the matter. An official at Huaxin Cement and spokespeople at CSN, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and Itau did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

InterCement’s USD 551m 5.75% 2024 bonds traded at 69.23 today, according to MarketAxess.