LafargeHolcim Ltd. is exploring options for its business in the Philippines, including a potential sale, as the cement giant seeks to further reduce debt by selling non-core assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Europe’s biggest cement maker is considering the divestment as part of a broader strategic review of its Southeast Asia operations following the sale of its Indonesia business, the people said. LafargeHolcim may keep the business if it decides it can’t fetch an attractive enough price, according to the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.
The seller may seek to value the Philippines assets at around $2.5 billion, though some suitors have indicated they think the business is worth less, the people said. A rival seeking to purchase all of LafargeHolcim’s plants in the country may face antitrust issues, which could make it more difficult to find a single buyer, they said. If the business is sold, the next disposal candidate would be Malaysia, they said.
LafargeHolcim has been divesting assets as part of a five-year turnaround plan, announcing in November that it will sell its Indonesian unit for $1.75 billion including debt to PT Semen Indonesia. Chief Executive Officer Jan Jenisch said in May the company’s Southeast Asia business has been “a bit more challenging” amid price pressure in markets such as the Philippines and Malaysia. (Bloomberg)