€41-bn Holcim-Lafarge merger gets conditional US, Canadian nod

06 May 2015

US and Canadian regulators yesterday approved the mega, €41-billion merger of cement giants Holcim Ltd of Switzerland’s with France’s Lafarge S.A. on condition that they would divest certain assets in both countries.

Holcim and Lafarge must sell one cement plant, one quarry and five cement terminals and other distribution assets in the US, and two cement plants, as well as some cement terminals, ready-mix concrete plants and other aggregates and construction facilities in Canada.

The FTC said that the merger could harm competition in 12 markets for portland cement and in two additional markets for slag cement.

The Canadian Bureau said that its review was focused on determining whether assets located outside of the country were important to the effectiveness of Holcim’s Canadian business.

Lafarge has a strong hold in Africa and the Middle East, while Holcim has a meagre presence in these regions, but Holcim is strong in Latin America, where Lafarge has no presence.

Late last month the European Commission approved the deal subject to the giants selling some assets in the European Union to Ireland-based rival CRH Plc.

Founded in 1833, Paris-based Lafarge has 161 cement plants in 58 countries and more than 1395 aggregates and concrete production facilities in 36 countries.

Holcim has production sites in around 70 countries and a market presence on every continent. The 102 year-old company recorded net sales of over 19.7 billion Swiss francs in 2013.


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