EU Approves Lafarge-Holcim Merger To Form Cement Titan
EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the merger of French big Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to form the world's biggest cement group after each sold components of their business to meet competition concerns.
"Acquisition of Lafarge by Holcim is subject to conditions. The merger can proceed," EU Competitors 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 were merging to create the world's biggest cement group worth forty billion euros ($55 billion), with an eye on booming construction in emerging markets.
The deal, a major event within the world development industry, is predicated on the offer of one Holcim share for one Lafarge share.
The new firm can be called LafargeHolcim and "may have a singular position in 90 nations and might be evenly balanced between creating international locations and nations with robust 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 concerns that the "transaction, as originally notified, would have" damage competition in lots of markets in Europe but that the 2 corporations later "committed to divesting many of the operations the place their activities overlap".
"With the remedies, we've ensured that the creation of an elevated world footprint of the group won't come on the expense of competition in the EU," Vestager said in a statement.
"And this is the positive example at present's approval provides to different corporations which will have global ambitions," she said.
The Commission added that the 2 companies is not going to be allowed to finish their deal till it has approved the businesses who will purchase the belongings put up for sale.
- 'Great satisfaction' -
Figures showed that the new big will employ 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 might be in a strong position as a provider of cement, a key basic material in construction.
Building provide companies have been increasing in rising countries where they see big opportunities for growth as they face sluggish situations within the European building industry.
Shares in the new firm will likely be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.
"We welcome with nice satisfaction the commission's constructive determination," said Wolfgang Reitzle, the future chairman of LafargeHolcim, and Bruno Lafont, the future chief executive officer, in a joint statement.
"Due to this approval, we remain more than ever on the precise path to finalise the merger within the first half of 2015."