Cemex Makes $15.3 Billion Bid for Rinker

Mexico's Cemex, the world's No. 3 cement maker, said on Monday it had raised its bid for Australian rival Rinker to US$15.85 a share, and Rinker has accepted the offer.

Cemex's initial offer on Oct. 27, 2006 was US$13 a share.

Rinker will now recommend the bid to its shareholders, Cemex said.

Cemex said its "final", US$15.3 billion offer (A$18.7 billion) -- the biggest ever by a Mexican company and one of the largest in Australian corporate history -- was a 45% premium over Rinker's share price at the time of its October offer and a 22% increase on its $13-per-share bid.

Cemex, which is based in the northern Mexico and operates in more than 50 countries, sees $130 million in pretax annual cost synergies from the deal after three years, as well as a foothold in Australia and a bigger slice of the U.S. market.

"The combination of CEMEX and Rinker will create value for shareholders as well as customers, particularly in key growth regions of the United States," Cemex' Chief Executive Lorenzo Zambrano said. "It offers an attractive premium to Rinker's shareholders while creating compelling value for CEMEX shareholders," he added.

Rinker rejected the October bid and its shareholders have been holding out for a better offer.

The deal now has the approval of both companies, as well as Australian and U.S. regulators. The revised offer for 90% of Rinker's expires on May 18, 2007, Cemex said.