(Bloomberg) -- Holcim Ltd. agreed to sell its Brazilian unit to Companhia Siderurgica Nacional for about $1 billion as the Swiss cement maker cuts debt.

The asset has five cement plants, four grinding stations, six aggregate sites and 19 ready-mix concrete facilities, the company said Friday. Holcim will use the proceeds to invest in its Solutions & Products business.

Under Chief Executive Officer Jan Jenisch, Holcim has been selling off assets that don’t contribute to its core operations in an effort to reduce leverage. Since a turnaround plan announced in 2018, the Zug, Switzerland-based company has sought to prune activities outside Europe in countries including Indonesia and Malaysia.

The sale hands Holcim “flexibility to continue investing in attractive growth opportunities,” Jenisch said.

Latin America remains a core strategic region for Holcim, the company said, adding that it recently invested in a clinker line in Argentina and a new grinding station in Mexico.

In April, Bloomberg reported Holcim was considering a sale of the unit, which could be valued at as much as $1.5 billion, citing people familiar with the matter.

 

(Updates with CEO statement in fourth paragraph.)

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