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Cemex eyes debt exchange that would save it money

(Reuters) - Mexico's Cemex said on Monday it plans to exchange some of its debt for longer maturities in a deal that could help one of the world's leading cement makers save millions of dollars.

News helped boost Cemex stock in Mexico and New York by nearly 6 percent.

The company seeks to exchange eurobonds and perpetual debentures due 2014 for new senior secured notes with a longer maturity, to be denominated in dollars and euros.

Holders of 885 million euros ($1.19 billion) of eurobonds issued by Cemex Finance Europe BV and 147 million euros of perpetual debentures can exchange for 9.875 percent dollar-denominated senior notes due 2019 and 9.875 percent euro-denominated notes due 2019.

In this case the new securities would be issued by Cemex Espana SA, acting through its Luxembourg branch.

Cemex is also offering holders of $748 million of three series of perpetual debentures the right to exchange for 9.875 percent senior notes due 2019, issued by Cemex Espana.

"We think the company could save around $400 million with the exchange," said analyst Carlos Hermosillo, with Banorte-Ixe brokerage.

The exchange offers will be open for 20 business days from February 27, the company said. Holders who tender notes on or prior to March 9 will be entitled to an early participation fee.

Earlier this month, Cemex posted a narrower-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, suggesting it may be close to turning the page on a tough year when its ability to meet debt obligations has been in doubt.

The company's chief executive Lorenzo Zambrano reassured reporters last week that Cemex would meet its debt obligations to creditors this year.

Its shares rose 5.71 percent to 9.99 pesos in morning trading and gained 5.97 percent to $7.80 in New York. ($1 = 0.7428 euros)

(Reporting By Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Noe Torres; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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