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Grupo Argos New Corporate Structure

Date: 5/8/2012

  • José Vélez continues leading Grupo Argos as its CEO and chairman of the Boards of its subsidiaries Cementos Argos and Celsia.
  • Jorge Velásquez, a civil engineer with a long track-record in the cement business Argos, is the new CEO of Cementos Argos.
  • Juan Uribe, current VP of Colombia Division, will be the CEO of Grupo Argos' real estate business. In accordance with its new business development strategy, Grupo Argos (formerly Inversiones Argos), has defined its new corporate structure seeking to enhance the efficiency of its operations and to be prepared for its new role as infrastructure holding.

This decision follows the approval given by the Colombian Financial Superintendence on April 27th to the spin-off of certain non-cement assets from Cementos Argos' balance sheet and its contribution into Grupo Argos.

During the last three years, Grupo Argos, previously a cement-focused conglomerate, started a diversification process through investments in the energy sector, becoming the controlling shareholder of Celsia (formerly Colinversiones). Now, in order to consolidate as an infrastructure holding, Grupo Argos will start developing, as independent businesses, the real estate, coal and port assets that were spun-off from Cementos Argos.

As stated by José Vélez, CEO of Grupo Argos, "We have carried out this transaction to strengthen and develop these new assets and, at the same time, to focus Cementos Argos in the cement and ready-mix concrete businesses and Celsia in the energy business."

The new structure of Grupo Argos is as follows: José Vélez, CEO of Grupo Argos, continues leading the infrastructure parent and, at the same time, as chairman of the Boards of the subsidiary companies.

    • Jorge Velásquez, a civil engineer graduated from the Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia, with over 30 years of experience in the cement industry and who held the position of VP of Caribbean Division of Cementos Argos, has been appointed as the new CEO of this Company.
    • Juan Uribe, VP of Colombia Division of Cementos Argos, will be the CEO of the new real estate business of Grupo Argos.
    • Juan Londoño continues leading the energy business as CEO of Celsia.
    • Camilo Abello, current VP of Corporate Affairs of Cementos Argos, will hold the same position in the parent company, Grupo Argos.
    • Ricardo Sierra, current CFO of Cementos Argos, will be the CFO of Grupo Argos.

"With this new structure, Grupo Argos, keeps consolidating itself as a relevant infrastructure holding in Colombia and will continue to grow stronger thanks to the coordinated efforts that will be undertaken with the companies of the Group in the cement, energy, real estate, port and coal businesses, both in Colombia and in the countries where we are present," states José Vélez, CEO of Grupo Argos.

Two Argos Plants Honored at PCA Awards

Date: 4/16/2012

Two Argos Plants – the Roberta Plant in Calera, AL and the Atlanta Plant, Atlanta, GA, were recognized at Portland Cement Association's (PCA) Spring Board of Directors meeting in Chicago, IL on April 16, 2012.

The Roberta Cement Plant in Calera, AL, was recognized for its resourceful approach to improving plant safety. PCA presented the Safety Innovation Award for developing a safer method to inspect confined spaces. A team at the plant created a telescoping infrared camera that gives a more comprehensive view of the vessel and also provides better documentation, since a video recording feature was added. By archiving the information, employees can visually compare areas over the course of time.

PCA also recognized the Argos Cement Plant in Atlanta, GA, with the distinguished Chairman's Safety Performance Award for an outstanding safety record. The Atlanta plant was in the "Less than 179,000 employee hours" division.

"Working to continuously improve safety and health in the workplace, employees at the Argos Cement plant set a standard for safety excellence that promotes safety and health protections throughout the year," said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO.

About Argos USA:

Argos USA is part of Cementos Argos S.A., a multinational corporation based in Colombia. Argos USA employs about 2,200 people at its offices and over 220 concrete plant locations, two cement plants, one grinding facility, and nine cement terminals. These facilities are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

About PCA:

Based in Skokie, IL, the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs.More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

Four Cement Terminals Receive WHC Certification

Date: 1/24/2012

Four Argos cement terminals recently received a nationally recognized Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) certification for their efforts in managing on-site wildlife habitat. The four terminals, Ball Ground, Newnan, Cordele and Durham completed their project documenting progress over a 12-month period. The terminals range in size from a small piece of industrial property to more than 6.5 acres. The process requires a certified biologist visit each site, which results in a wildlife habitat "Opportunities Report." The choice of opportunities is dependent on the location and size of the site and plant staff commitment to implement, manage and document the effort. Projects have included installing on-site pollinator gardens for butterflies and hummingbirds, blue bird and bat boxes, installation of predator (hawk) platforms, removal of exotic vegetative species and replanting of local native vegetative species. All projects must be documented and are then judged by an independent panel through the WHC.

The Ball Ground wildlife team even visited the local elementary school to talk about the terminal's wildlife habitat and donated a native Eastern redbud tree, which the children planted in their schoolyard. Boy Scouts have been involved in building the blue bird and bat boxes. Cement plants have even built floating wood duck boxes and landfills have implemented rotational mowing techniques for the groundcover.

The WHC is a non-profit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes it resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiversity and sustainable environments. WHC wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 45 states, the District of Columbia and twelve other countries.

Argos Creates Leading Integrated Southeastern U.S. Cement and Ready Mix Platform with $760 Million Purchase

Date: 5/1/2011

  • Argos to acquire assets from Lafarge in the southeast U.S. in order to consolidate its presence in this market and vertically integrate its operations.
  • Assets purchased include: two cement plants, a cement grinding station, 79 ready mix plants, five rail terminals and one terminal with port facilities.
  • The Company becomes the second largest cement producer in the southeast region1 and the fourth largest ready mix producer in the U.S.

Argos, the cement and ready mix producer with presence in Colombia, United States and the Caribbean, acquired from the world leader in building materials, Lafarge, cement and ready mix assets in the U.S. for a value of $760 million. The purchase should be consistent with Argos' long term geographic diversification strategy and enhances the consolidation of the Company in this country.

The assets acquired include: a cement plant in Calera, Alabama, with an installed capacity of 1.6 million metric tons of cement per year; a cement plant in Harleyville, South Carolina, with an installed capacity of 1.1 million metric tons of cement per year; a cement grinding station in Atlanta, Georgia, with an installed capacity of 500,000 metric tons of cement per year; 79 ready mix plants in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, with an installed capacity of 3.3 million cubic meters of ready mix per year; 347 ready mix trucks; five rail terminals (three in Georgia, one in Mississippi, and one in North Carolina); and a terminal with port facilities in Mobile, Alabama. All these assets are characterized by their efficiency and technical standards.

"The purchase of these assets has two relevant aspects in line with the Company's strategy: first, the location fits perfectly with Argos' existing footprint in the southeast of the United States;and second, the acquisition of cement plants and rail terminals enables the Company to generate significant synergies by consolidating its vertical integration strategy within its existing ready mix operations", says José A. Vélez, CEO of Cementos Argos.

With this purchase, subject to the approval of American competition authorities, Argos' installed capacity in the U.S. would reach 3.2 million metric tons of cement and about 10 million cubic meters of ready mix per year; Argos' total installed capacity in the countries in which it has presence would reach 16 million metric tons of cement and 14 million cubic meters of ready mix per year.

With this acquisition, Argos becomes the second largest cement producer in the southeast United States2; the Company also becomes the fourth largest ready mix producer in this country and a leader in the ready mix market in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, relevant urban centers in the south United States.

"This is a long term strategic acquisition and, given the demographics and demand projections of the states in which Argos is investing, the assets acquired will become a very important source of value for our Company," pointed out José A. Vélez, CEO of the Company.

1 Based on PCA data on grinding capacity in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

2 Based on PCA data on grinding capacity in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Making Two Companies Better, A Message from Eric Flesch, President – Argos USA

Date: 2/1/2011

I am pleased to announce that we are transitioning our two companies, Ready Mixed Concrete Company (RMCC), serving the southeastern United States, and Southern Star Concrete, Inc., serving Texas and Arkansas, under Argos USA. Both companies have been part of the Argos family for some time, and we are adopting a brand that we believe will allow us to bring our customers even more value.

With the Argos brand, we are not merging the companies but making two trusted concrete companies better. What won’t change are our people, who have made both these companies successful and on whom we know you rely on for outstanding service.

Argos is a multiregional company that has been exporting cement to the U.S. for more than 50 years. We have a presence in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. As part of Argos, we benefit from our parent organization’s financial stability, strong corporate governance and resources for continued improvement in technical knowledge, services and products. Argos also brings a strong commitment to environmental and community sustainability.

Even though you will continue to be invoiced by the current company, Ready Mixed Concrete Company or Southern Star, you will soon begin to see the Argos logo appearing on our trucks, stationery and signage. We hope that when you see the striking green and blue concrete mixer trucks, you will recognize that while the outside may have a new look, inside you will continue to find an organization focused on the quality products and excellent service you have always found in our heritage brands. Our commitment to you is to be an integral, full solutions partner that you can rely on to achieve business success!

We deeply appreciate your business and look forward to continuing our partnership.

Argos Dallas: Teaching Students about Concrete

Date: 5/27/2010

In Dallas, Argos recently participated in Career on Wheels Day at Nancy Moseley Elementary - Cruz Fonseca, a mixer truck driver at the Argos USA downtown Dallas plant, accompanied by his front line plant manager Bo Smith, spoke to all the students about the science involved in producing concrete and about the many environmentally friendly applications it is used for.

The teachers and the students were amazed at how greatly concrete has positively impacted their neighborhoods: roads, bridges, sidewalks, even playground equipment. The highlight of the day was watching the excitement in each child’s face when they were hoisted into the driver’s seat of the mixer truck to honk the horn. Without question the Argos employees that participated in the event had as much fun, if not more, than the kids. Preparing students to be productive citizens ready to pursue their dreams is not the responsibility only of the schools, but also Argos USA.