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Job security questioned as Cemex bids for RMC

NEWS - TGWU seeks reassurance over jobs in wake of Cemex's bid for ready-mix giant RMC

TRANSPORT union TGWU is seeking urgent talks with ready-mix giant RMC following Mexican company Cemex's £2.3 billion bid for the firm.

The union has around 1,000 members among RMC's 6,500 staff and is looking for reassurances over jobs in the wake of Cemex's 855p per share offer.

But Cemex is looking to make £200 million in cost savings through the deal and said on Monday it was 'too early' to speculate on the fate of RMC staff and management.

TGWU construction secretary Bob Blackman said: 'We will be contacting them very shortly to discuss things.The first thing that people think about in a situation like this is job security.'

But a spokesman for RMC said: 'It is impossible to say what will happen because we do not know - it is up to them.But Cemex has pointed out that there is very little overlap.'

Cemex chairman Lorenzo Zambrano said: 'We believe we have the management strength, technical expertise and global presence to generate further value from RMC's business.'

Cemex is the third-largest producer of ready-mixed concrete in the world, and has been linked with several firms in a bid to gain a foothold in Europe.The group turns over £4 billion and has 25,000 staff in 30 countries.

In contrast, RMC has shed 800 jobs over the last two years through a restructuring of the business which suffered from over-capacity in the German construction market.

Simon Brown, analyst at broker Williams De Broe, said:'RMC has been mooted as a potential candidate for a bid for a while but the timing was a surprise as the new management was due to supply a new strategy in February.

'Two years ago Cemex said that RMC didn't fit with their strategy but two years is a long time in aggregates.'

Teather & Greenwood analyst David Taylor added: 'There is virtually no business overlap except in Spain and west coast US so regulatory problems are unlikely.

'Cemex presumably wants to extend its reach into the UK, Germany and Eastern Europe.'