CEMEX’s takeover bid for Australia-based Rinker Group Ltd. is still alive and kicking, according to sources at this week’s World of Concrete show in Las Vegas.

The Monterrey, Mexico-based ready-mix giant has reportedly raised its buyout offer by $1 billion. A decision is expected sometime in March, around the same time Rinker’s fourth quarter financials are announced.

Late last October CEMEX made an unsolicited, $12.8-billion bid for Rinker, which primarily serves the U.S. sunbelt, including California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. These states have "the highest population and GDP growth rates as well as the strongest long-term construction projects," says CEMEX Chairman Lorenzo H. Zambrano.

The cash offer was a 26.2% premium over Rinker's three-month average stock price. But Rinker's board of directors soundly rejected the deal saying it "materially undervalues" the company. John Morschel, Rinker chairman, advised shareholders to "take no action."

CEMEX officials at the show would not confirm what sources had said. After several phone calls, ENR was referred to Jorge Perez in Monterrey. The CEMEX spokesman did not respond to phone calls before press time.