Construction Materials Companies Purchased

October 12, 2007

A Costa Rican building materials group is selling off three of its companies, one of them its flagship.

Grupo Pujol-Martí acknowledged the sale last week of Abonos Agro, the country’s largest distributor of construction materials such as steel, concrete and galvanized roofing.

The company’s shares were purchased by a group of Central American investors led by Grupo Progreso, a Guatemalan construction materials company that also holds Cementos Progreso, that country’s largest cement producer.

Abonos Agro was Grupo Pujol-Martí’s oldest company. Founded in 1945 as a fertilizer producer, it soon started selling construction materials, and by 1982 it had turned exclusively to construction materials, mostly those manufactured by the other companies in the group.

“With this step, Abonos Agro consolidates its position as a leading distributor of construction materials, forming part of a group with a regional reach,” the company said in a statement.

This week Grupo Pujol-Martí also closed the sale of Galvetica, a galvanized roofing and steel manufacturer, and Tubotico, a structural steel pipe manufacturer, to Metalco, a company of Costa Rican and Colombian capital.

“It seemed premature to set up new installations because there is already an excess of installed capacity in the country,” Metalco CEO Santiago Dapena told the daily La Nación. “Because of that, now, we’re taking advantage of this opportunity.

It’s not the first time Grupo Pujol- Martí has sold parts of itself to foreign companies. At the end of 2005, the company sold a 50% stake of two of its other construction steel companies to a Brazilian subsidiary of international steel giant Arcelor.

 

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