Business

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Cemex shows share prices not set in stone

Published 09/02/2012 | 05:00

IT was good to see Cemex raise its bid for Readymix, even if the new bid is still a tiny fraction of what the Dublin-listed cement maker was once valued at.

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Students of the stock exchange's more obscure companies will know that shares in Readymix enjoyed their largest one-day surge (533pc) in more than 20 years last month when Cemex offered to buy the shares it doesn't already own in the company for 22 cents each.

The company has since raised its bid to 25 cents but that is probably about the limit for a company losing €54m a year.

Anybody who despairs about CRH's occasional mistakes should ponder Readymix's fate.

Strategy

The company, whose shares reached €2.97 less than five years ago, failed to expand outside Ireland during the boom -- and shareholders are now reaping the rewards of this failed "strategy".

Shareholders who object to Readymix's takeover are not likely to prevail.

Cemex already owns 62pc and is the only likely buyer as well as being the provider of finance to the group.

Like home owners who should have sold during the boom, crystalising losses on the shares will be a bitter pill for most shareholders.

Still, it is a reminder that the exchange offers some potential to bottom feeders. Presumably a few shareholders are rubbing their hands at the prospect of 500pc gains.

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