What drove CEMEX to the path of international acquisitions? And what was its formula for successful acquisitions?

Of all the countries and industries one could match, the combination of Mexico and cement does not necessarily sound like the ideal couple to produce an efficient organization, able to expand internationally largely through effective acquisitions. Yet CEMEX has done just that. It has grown from a local Mexican producer into the third-largest cement producer in the world by 2005, after France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim. During the 1990s, it sustained a compounded annual growth rate of 26 per cent in operating cash flow, almost double the industry average. Most of its international acquisitions have been successful, proving wrong the many commentators who doubted its ability to integrate the acquired firms. In April 2007, it acquired Rinker, the Australian building materials supplier with more than 80 per cent of its sales in the US, for a price of $14.2 billion.12 This takeover made CEMEX the world’s largest building materials company. How did CEMEX develop and exploit its FSAs? What drove CEMEX to the path of international acquisitions? And what was its formula for successful acquisitions?

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