If there was any suspense whatsoever left in Cemex's (NYSE: CX ) pursuit of Australian cement company Rinker (NYSE: RIN ) , it's all over with now. The Mexican giant has finally acquired a 90% stake in its rival Down Under. Under Australian corporate law, Cemex can now compulsorily acquire the rest of the shares.
In reality, there's been little doubt that Cemex would get hold of Rinker once it set about the process, particularly after it got the backing of mutual fund Perpetual, which owns a 10% stake in the company. The drama was more a question of when, rather than if, remaining shareholders would be forced to sell off their positions to the Mexico-based giant.
Cement is a hot commodity right now. While the Cemex-Rinker deal will create one of the world's largest building-materials companies, there's a slurry of consolidation occurring elsewhere in the sector. As Motley Fool Global Gains analyst Nathan Parmelee pointed out last month, Germany's HeidelbergCement will be acquiring Hanson (NYSE: HAN ) in another $16 billion deal. The combined companies would be on par in terms of market cap with the $30 billion Lafarge (NYSE: LR ) , which still dwarfs Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC ) , which in turn agreed to acquire Florida Rock (NYSE: FRK ) in February.
While emerging economies such as China and India remain the spark igniting demand for cement, decelerating U.S. construction has put the squeeze on U.S.-focused producers such as U.S. Concrete (NYSE: RMIX ) . Even though the deal will provide Cemex a larger presence in the sluggish U.S. market, it will also offer the company additional traction in worldwide markets such as China and Australia. By expanding its global presence through its Rinker acquisition, Cemex has further limited its risks of exposing itself to a slowdown in any one economy. Solid.
For now, we can say the Cemex-Rinker deal is set in stone.
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Fool contributor Rich Duprey holds no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned here. You can see his holdings here. Cemex is also a recommendation of Stock Advisor. Someone wrote their initials in the Motley Fool's disclosure policy.