Building materials giant mulls large-scale integration

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-10 07:48

China National Building Materials Group Corp, one of the largest State-owned building materials manufacturers, is in talks to integrate some of its 15 subsidiaries listed both at home and abroad, local media reported.

The move by the giant State enterprise is to help boost the profitability of its core business. It followed the announcement in September of a merger between CNBM Group and China National Materials Group Corp, another State-owned building materials giant.

"After much careful thought, we are conducting thorough discussions and research on the integration plan," a source at CNBM Group was quoted as saying by The Economic Observer.

Among the 15 publicly traded companies, three are listed overseas.

The report said that the move is aimed at consolidating and strengthening the core business of each subsidiary, and the cement sector will be one of the priorities.

The goal of the overhaul is to "shape medium and large-scale listed companies focusing on specialized areas", that would have the capability to "rank in the top three worldwide", it said.

"Meanwhile, the group will follow the rules of the capital market, and maximize the value of listed companies by integrating similar businesses and executing restructuring."

In addition, CNBM Group will put emphasis on expanding business in countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Seven key markets were identified, namely Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central and East Asia, South Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and South America," said the report.

According to a statement jointly released by the two companies early last month, CNBM, which is listed in Hong Kong, will acquire all shares of China National Materials Co Ltd, also known as SINOMA, the Hong Kong-listed arm of China National Materials Group Corp.

Additional time is required to finalize certain information to be included in the merger document, so the dispatch deadline was delayed, falling on or before Oct 20, said a public filing.

"Once the deal is completed, CNBM is expected to lower its debt-to-net-worth ratio by around 60 percentage points", according to Cao Jianglin, president of CNBM. At the end of June, the company's debt-to-equity ratio stood at 228 percent.

Also, CNBM will become China's largest nonmetal materials manufacturer, cement equipment and engineering service provider by production capacity, with total assets of more than 550 billion yuan ($84.32 billion) and 250,000 employees.

Zhao Ying, a researcher at the institute of industrial economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the reorganization will help the two companies, whose operations overlap in the cement sector, cut excess capacity and enhance research and development ability to develop other new construction materials, preventing price wars when seeking orders in overseas markets.

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