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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 both sold components 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 growth".

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

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

The deal, a serious event in the global building trade, relies on the provide of 1 Holcim share for one Lafarge share.

The new firm will likely be called LafargeHolcim and "can have a novel place in 90 nations and will be evenly balanced between growing nations and nations with robust development," the corporations said in a joint statement.

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

Nonetheless they both have big and competing interests in Europe.

The European Commission said it had had issues that the "transaction, as originally notified, would have" hurt competition in many markets in Europe however that the two companies later "dedicated to divesting most of the operations where their actions overlap".

"With the cures, we have now ensured that the creation of an increased global footprint of the group is not going to come at the expense of competitors in the EU," Vestager said in a statement.

"And this is the optimistic instance as we speak's approval provides to different companies that may have international ambitions," she said.

The Commission added that the two corporations is not going to be allowed to finish their deal till it has approved the businesses who will purchase the assets put up for sale.

- 'Great satisfaction' -

Figures showed that the new big will make use of 136,000 people, 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.four billion euros over three years.

LafargeHolcim will probably be in a robust position as a provider of cement, a key basic material in construction.

Building supply firms have been expanding in rising international locations where they see big alternatives for progress as they face sluggish situations within the European construction industry.

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

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

"Because of this approval, we remain more than ever on the appropriate path to finalise the merger within the first half of 2015." Website URL:

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