Brazil Protests Flag
The IPO failure comes amid historic anti-government protests throughout Brazil. Reuters

The second-biggest initial public offering so far this year, a massive $4.8 billion launch by Brazilian cement maker Votorantim Cimentos, was canceled a day before its planned launch date, reports Reuters.

The company’s controlling shareholder refused to sell stock below a suggested price range of 16 ($7) to 19 reals per share, said sources. An IPO at that level could value Votorantim Cimentos well below its competitors.

The decision isn’t a complete surprise, as speculation has grown in recent days about the successful completion of the launch. Concerns included lack of adequate transparency for foreign investors and investors fleeing local equity markets, reports Reuters.

Votorantim Cimentos is controlled by the Ermirio de Moraes family, one of the richest families in Brazil, worth about $12.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

The firm is among the top eight cement makers in the world, with a presence in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe, according to the company website.

Over the past several days, Brazil has been racked by historic protests.