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Readymix shareholders vote to sell remaining shares to Cemex

Apr, 10 2012


(Ireland) -- Shareholders in listed company Readymix have voted to sell the 38 per cent slice of the company not owned by Cemex to the Mexican construction giant.

Some 96.9 per cent of eligible shareholders who voted, which excluded the Cemex shareholding, voted in favour of the sale which will see shareholders receive €0.25 for each share held.

Readymix is expected to delist from the Irish stock exchange on May 9th.

The company was founded in 1965, with Cemex taking a majority shareholding in the Irish company in 2005 following its purchase of the London-based RMC group.

Readymix has seen its share price plummet in recent years in tandem with the construction collapse in Ireland. In 2004, when RMC first agreed the deal with Cemex, Readymix shares were at €1.75; in January it was trading as low as 3 cents.

At yesterday’s egm to vote on the deal, Readymix’s non-executive chairman Adrian Auer defended Cemex’s management of the company, noting that it had succeeded in getting working capital down to negative and had provided a global IT system at a fraction of its cost.

“Because of the collapse in the market, revenues have gone down from €200 million to €40 million. That can not sustain the overheads required to manage a national organisation.”

Cemex has closed more than half of its plants across Ireland, and reduced its staff numbers from about 1,300 five years ago to 260 nationwide.

Mr Auer rejected a claim from one shareholder, Séamus Maye, that Readymix had been selling cement below its average variable costs and had not used cement replacements to the extent that it could have.

“That is not true,” Mr Auer said, pointing out that cement only represented about 30 per cent of the company’s overall input costs.

“Every effort has been made to preserve the business,” Mr Auer added.

He pointing out that operating losses of €60 million had been incurred by the company during the recession.

Cemex is the third-largest cement company in the world.


By: SUZANNE LYNCH


SOURCE: www.irishtimes.com

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