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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 giant Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to kind the world's biggest cement group after both sold parts of their enterprise to meet competitors concerns.

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

The European Commission said it allowed the merger to go ahead on condition 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 worth forty billion euros ($55 billion), with an eye on booming development in emerging markets.

The deal, a significant event within the international development industry, relies on the supply of 1 Holcim share for one Lafarge share.

The new firm might be called LafargeHolcim and "will have a unique place in ninety nations and will be evenly balanced between growing countries and nations with strong growth," the companies 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.

However they both have big and competing interests in Europe.

The European Commission said it had had concerns that the "transaction, as originally notified, would have" harm competition in many markets in Europe but that the 2 corporations later "committed to divesting many of the operations where their activities overlap".

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

"And this is the constructive example at the moment's approval provides to different corporations that will have international ambitions," she said.

The Commission added that the 2 corporations will not be allowed to complete their deal until it has approved the companies who will purchase the assets put up for sale.

- 'Great satisfaction' -

Figures showed that the new large will make use of 136,000 individuals, and have annual sales of 32 billion euros and undermendacity profits of 6.5 billion euros.

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

LafargeHolcim will be in a robust position as a supplier of cement, a key fundamental material in construction.

Building provide firms have been expanding in rising countries where they see enormous opportunities for growth as they face sluggish circumstances within the European development industry.

Shares in the new firm will probably be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.

"We welcome with great satisfaction the commission's optimistic determination," said Wolfgang Reitzle, the future chairman of LafargeHolcim, and Bruno Lafont, the long run chief executive officer, in a joint statement.

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

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