(Mexico-) -- Mexican building materials company Cemex SAB (CX, CEMEX.MX) said that its joint-venture partner Ready Mix USA has decided to exercise a put option to sell its interest in the partnership to Cemex.
Cemex, the world's third-largest cement maker and biggest supplier of ready mix concrete, said the acquisition of Ready Mix USA's interest in two joint ventures, which were set up in 2005, is scheduled for September 2011.
The joint ventures have cement, aggregates, ready mix and block assets in the southeastern U.S.
Cemex said a methodology had been agreed for both partners to determine the price, which it estimates will be about $360 million. Cemex will also consolidate $17 million in net debt as a result.
Highly leveraged Cemex renegotiated maturities on $15 billion in mostly bank debt in 2009 and a year ago it sold its Australian operations for $1.7 billion to pay down debt.
Since the global economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, Cemex has slashed its global workforce by more than a tenth, limited its capital expenditures, and has also sold some other noncore assets.
Acquisitions aren't ruled out under the financing agreement.
Earlier this year Cemex invested $100 million in investment company Blue Rock Cement Holdings that plans to build a $230 million, one million tons-a-year cement plant in Peru, where economic growth is out-pacing that of other countries in Latin America.