Holcim and Lafarge CRH deal approved

By Neill Barston27 April 2015

Lafarge and Holcim’s proposed merger has taken a key step forward, after gaining clearance from the European Commission to divest a number of European Union assets to the Irish-based company CRH.

The planned merger, which would create the largest cement group in the world, requires both Lafarge and Holcim to sell global assets to comply with competition regulations.

The companies’ proposed EU asset divestment to CRH involves all of Swiss-based Holcim’s assets in France, except for Holcim’s Altkirch cement plant, and aggregates and ready-mix sites in the Haut-Rhin region. It also includes French-based Lafarge’s grinding station in Saint-Nazaire, as well as Lafarge’s assets on Reunion island – except for its shareholding in Ciments de Bourbon.

As part of the deal, Lafarge’s assets in Germany, Romania and the UK –with the exception of the company’s Cauldon and Cookstown plants, plus certain associated assets – would be divested. Holcim will also divest other assets in Hungary and Slovakia.

These divestments remain subject to the completion of the merger, including a successful public exchange offering to Lafarge’s shareholders, and approval by Holcim’s shareholders.

Earlier this month, the two companies outlined plans to divest assets in the US. This included a US$450 million (€415 million) deal with Summit Materials, for the Lafarge cement plant in Davenport, Iowa, and seven terminals along the Mississippi. Summit will also transfer its Bettendorf, Iowa, cement terminal, to Lafarge Holcim.

Last month, Holcim and Lafarge agreed revised terms for the merger, in which a new exchange ratio of nine Holcim shares for ten Lafarge shares was agreed.

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