Colombia's Grupo Argos cleared to sell up to $531 mln in bonds

jueves 14 de agosto de 2014 11:24 GYT

BOGOTA Aug 14 (Reuters) - Colombian investment holding company Grupo Argos has received permission from the country's financial market regulator to issue up to $531 million in bonds to finance its expansion plans and roll over existing debt.

Grupo Argos can sell the bonds in several issues over the next three years, the company said in a regulatory filing late on Wednesday.

"The resources ... will be dedicated to financing the growth of the issuer, leverage its expansion plan, finance its short-term needs and/or to substitute its financial liabilities," the company said.

Grupo Argos, controlled by the country's largest industrial conglomerate, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno (GEA), did not say when it intends to begin selling bonds.

Grupo Argos controls Colombia's largest cement maker, Cementos Argos, which said in an interview with daily newspaper La Republica on Thursday, that it is considering buying cement assets in Brazil and Mexico from Switzerland's Holcim Ltd, and in Latin America from France's Lafarge .

The two European companies must dispose of assets generating 5 billion euros ($6.69 billion) in annual revenue to persuade antitrust regulators to back their April agreement to create a group with combined annual sales of $44 billion.

($1=0.7473 euros) (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Peter Galloway)