Peru's Gloria acquires control of Soboce cement plant

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Peru's Gloria Group said it acquired an outstanding 51.35% stake in Bolivia's largest cement producer Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento (Soboce) for US$300mn.

Gloria - a conglomerate that produces cement, nitrates, paper, dairy, fruit juice and fish products, and owns the Cementos Yura plant in Arequipa region - carried out the transaction on the Bolivian stock exchange, it said in a filing with securities regulator SMV.

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The Peruvian firm will keep the Bolivian company's 10,000 employees, Soboce's former owner Samuel Doria Medina said in a press conference in La Paz.

Owned by the Rodríguez Banda Group, Gloria previously held a 47% stake in Soboce, once the flagship of magnate and former presidential candidate Doria Medina, with US$280mn in annual sales.

Doria Medina, who lost to President Evo Morales in the October presidential elections, opposed Morales' move to nationalize Soboce's 30% stake in cement producer Fancesa in 2010.

The transaction highlights a trend of Peruvian cement companies acquiring assets to tap infrastructure investment growth in the region. Peruvian cement producer Unacem paid US$553mn for Lafarge Ecuador in May, while the Brescia Group took over Lafarge Chile for US$545mn in 2009.

Bolivia's government plans to invest US$2.5bn in infrastructure projects next year, part of a total US$6.18bn public spending which will include the telecom, energy, water and transport sectors.