Lafarge Meets Required Public Float; SEACEM Open To Backdoor Listing

Lafarge Republic Inc. (LRI) has successfully met the 10 percent minimum public float requirement of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

This was done through the buyback of the outstanding common shares of subsidiary Southeast Asia Cement Holdings, Inc. (SEACEM) held by its public shareholders in exchange for LRI shares.

Following SEACEM's voluntary tender offer to its public shareholders, which it initiated last October, SEACEM swapped 249 million of its LRI shares for the 930 million SEACEM shares of stock tendered by these public shareholders.

With this development, LRI's public ownership has reached 599 million shares or 10.29 percent of its total outstanding shares and results in LRI's compliance with the 10 percent minimum public ownership requirement.

Lafarge Cement Services Philippines Inc. (LCSPI) Chief Finance Officer Martin Reid said that LRI's compliance signifies the company's commitment to its shareholders.

Meanwhile, SEACEM disclosed to the PSE that it is reviewing options to comply with the 10 percent minimum public float requirement as the tender offer resulted in a reduction of public ownership of the company to 2.4 percent.

The review of the options will consider the possibility of consolidating assets and investments, as well as opportunities for entering into transactions with third parties interested in a back door listing.

SEACEM added that specific actions and terms and conditions will be timely disclosed when determined by the SEACEM board.

Lafarge Republic Inc. earlier announced that it will be increasing its production capacity starting first quarter of 2013 and will be able to supply an additional 1 Million tons of cement per year throughout the Philippines.

Investments of LRI to increase its cement production include the revamping of LRI's Danao grinding plant in Cebu and debottlenecking of its Norzagaray Plant's mill in Bulacan.

By first quarter of 2013, LRI will be able to supply an additional 200 kilo tons of cement per year in Luzon, 650 kilo tons per year in Visayas and another 100 kilotons per year in Mindanao.