EU Approves Lafarge-Holcim Merger To Form Cement Titan

EU Approves Lafarge-Holcim Merger To Form Cement Titan

EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the merger of French large Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to form the world's biggest cement group after each sold elements of their business to satisfy competition concerns.

"Acquisition of Lafarge by Holcim is subject to conditions. The merger can proceed," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Twitter, adding the move was "good for progress".

The European Commission said it allowed the merger to go ahead provided that Lafarge divest companies in Germany, Romania and Britain and that Holcim do the identical in France, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Holcim and Lafarge introduced in April they have been merging to create the world's biggest cement group worth 40 billion euros ($fifty five billion), with an eye on booming construction in rising markets.

The deal, a major event within the world construction industry, is based on the provide of one Holcim share for one Lafarge share.

The new firm might be called LafargeHolcim and "can have a singular position in ninety international locations and can be evenly balanced between developing countries and nations with sturdy progress," the firms said in a joint statement.

They highlighted the match of their actions since Lafarge has a strong presence in Africa and Holcim in Latin America.

Nevertheless they each have big and competing interests in Europe.

The European Commission said it had had issues that the "transaction, as initially notified, would have" harm competitors in many markets in Europe but that the two firms later "dedicated to divesting a lot of the operations the place their actions overlap".

"With the cures, now we have ensured that the creation of an elevated global footprint of the group will not come on the expense of competitors within the EU," Vestager said in a statement.

"And this is the optimistic example at this time's approval provides to other companies which will have world ambitions," she said.

The Commission added that the two companies is not going to be allowed to complete their deal till it has approved the companies who will buy the property put up for sale.

- 'Great satisfaction' -

Figures showed that the new big will make use of 136,000 folks, and have annual sales of 32 billion euros and underlying profits of 6.5 billion euros.

The deal would generate economies of scale of 1.4 billion euros over three years.

LafargeHolcim shall be in a strong place as a supplier of cement, a key primary materials in construction.

Building provide firms have been increasing in rising international locations where they see big opportunities for progress as they face sluggish situations in the European construction industry.

Shares within the new agency can be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.

"We welcome with great satisfaction the fee's constructive decision," said Wolfgang Reitzle, the future chairman of LafargeHolcim, and Bruno Lafont, the future chief executive officer, in a joint statement.

"Because of this approval, we stay more than ever on the proper path to finalise the merger within the first half of 2015."

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