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Cemex Earmarks Rinker Assets For Ready Mix Usa Joint Venture

With an eye toward reducing debt, Houston-based Cemex Inc. is negotiating transfer or sale of concrete and aggregate assets valued upwards of $375 million

CP STAFF

With an eye toward reducing debt, Houston-based Cemex Inc. is negotiating transfer or sale of concrete and aggregate assets valued upwards of $375 million to its joint venture with Ready Mix USA in Birmingham, Ala. The transaction would span properties inherited from Rinker Materials Corp.: 11 concrete plants, 12 limestone quarries, four concrete maintenance facilities, two aggregate distribution facilities and two administrative offices in Tennessee; three granite quarries and one aggregate distribution facility in Georgia; and, a limestone quarry and concrete plant in Virginia.

Subject to the signing of a definitive agreement and regulatory approvals, the transaction would see Cemex contributing $150 million in assets to the joint venture, while selling additional assets to Ready Mix USA for $227 million in cash. In turn, Ready Mix USA would contribute $150 million in cash to the joint venture. Ownership of the entity would remain, Ready Mix USA principals, 50.01 percent; Cemex, 49.99 percent. Cemex formed the joint venture in mid-2005, shortly after integrating the RMC Industries business, retaining a buyout option after three years. The joint venture was chartered with RMC ready mixed, block and cement distribution assets in Georgia and the Florida panhandle, plus like businesses that upstart Ready Mix USA had accumulated in Alabama, Georgia and neighboring states.

We believe this transaction will further enhance its ability to serve our customers even better than we do today, while strengthening our already successful relationship with Ready Mix USA, says Cemex Inc. President Gilberto Perez.

The joint venture has been successful due in large part to the excellent relationship with our partner. The combination of Cemex's global strength with our local strength has resulted in a great team, adds Ready Mix USA President Marc Bryant Tyson.