Updated: 09/05/12 : 06:51:42
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Sligo Man Opposes 'Hoodwink' International Sale

A Sligo shareholder has opposed a scheme of arrangement where giant cement maker Readymix would be acquired in a cash deal by an affiliate of Mexican giant Cemex.

Sligo-based Seamus Maye claimed in an affidavit, which was opened yesterday (Tuesday), to the High Court that the price being offered by Cemex, which already owns over 60pc of Readymix, was too low.

Another shareholder, Tom Goode also opposed the sale and an affidavit on his behalf was also presented yesterday.

Mr Maye from Culleenamore, Strandhill told SligoToday.ie, "I opposed the sale on the basis that minority shareholders were not properly informed and that Readymix and Cemex had through illegal anti-competitive action obliterated the share value of minority share holders."

"I and and Tom Goode opposed the Scheme on a number of counts. I maintained that Minority Shareholders had been hoodwinked." Mr Maye alleges the proposed sale amounts to "wilful destruction" of minority shareholder value by Cemex. Cemex has tabled an offer that values Readymix at about €27m.

Mr Maye has been involved for a number of years in on-going competition litigation against a number of Irish cement manufacturers, including CRH, Kilsaran and Readymix.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly heard the Readymix petition yesterday and has reserved his decision until 2pm on Wednesday 16 May.

Readymix, CRH and Kilsaran have previously asked the High Court to dismiss claims by Framus -- a company of which Mr Maye is a director -- and other companies connected to him.

There are a significant number Readymix shareholders and former employees in the Sligo region.

In his affidavit, Mr Maye stated that he believed that for a  number of years that Readymix has been selling concrete in the greater Dublin Market at prices that are below cost. He maintained that in his experience working within the industry, there is no other reason for selling at such a price for a sustained period, other than as part of an eviction strategy.

Mr Maye is currently awaiting the outcome of a case he has taken against corporate giant Cement Roadstone Holding. The outcome could become the biggest scandal to hit the nation in decades. His family were in the building materials business going back to the 1950s, but eventually sold up in 1994. Maye claims the sale was forced upon him because he wouldn’t play ball with what he says was a price-fixing cartel.

His case, taken through the family company Framus, includes a whole host of allegations, detailing specific projects in which he claims his company fell victim to the workings of a cartel. The projects include work in Croke Park, Dublin Airport, Wood Quay, and the Guinness brewery. In each case, he claims he agreed prices with the client only to be undercut by a price that was below cost.
See SligoToday 11/4/12