Deft Deal

Jan 1, 2005

A series of bold acquisitions has turned Mexico's Cemex from a provincial company to a global player in just over a decade. The company's latest leap forward came in September when it acquired Britain's RMC Group for $5.5 billion in cash and assumed debt, paying a tidy 39% premium for the company.

In that single move - the largest acquisition yet by a Latin American company - Cemex established itself in the heart of the European market. RMC's franchise includes both the mature UK and German markets and promising new territories in eastern Europe.

The acquisition had the classic traits of a Cemex deal. It was a large and highly leveraged takeover of an underperforming company that has fundamental strengths. Although Cemex took on $5.8 billion in debt, past experience shows it will quickly wring substantial savings out of RMC. Cemex is skilled...

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