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May 20 2020, 12:00 IST/BST
As restrictions begin to ease, Buzzi Unicem (BZU) finds itself in a relatively solid operating position. That may seem at odds with severe lockdowns in Italy but, crucially, two of its key profit centres (USA and Germany) have traded at high levels through April and May. Meanwhile, the group has rarely been in a stronger financial position and that is going to leave lots of firepower for the future. That may just prompt a step-up in investments, dividends and buybacks but it is also increasing the chance of corporate activity in our view. While not likely in the short term, the rationale for taking the group private is growing as is the potential for a take-out, presuming that the family is prepared to sell at some point.