Can new role for Lafont save Holcim, Lafarge deal?

19 March 2015

To save the troubled merger, Holcim and Lafarge are considering a new CEO for the combined group. 

Bruno Lafont, current Lafarge CEO, was to be the future CEO of the merged company, but Holcim has grown dissatisfied with his leadership and threatened to walk away if the issue is not resolved.

A source said Holcim was not questioning the principles of the deal. “This is not about the balance of the merger this is about one person.”Lafont’s brash style and tendency to brook no dissent among his management or with investors has proven difficult for the Swiss side to accept and could see him named co-chairman, alongside Wolfgang Reitzle, current chairman of Holcim.

Under pressure from its shareholders, Holcim called a halt to the deal on Sunday, demanding better terms on the share exchange ratio and changes in “governance” of the new group.
Considering a new role for Lafont came on Tuesday after Lafarge’s two largest shareholders urged discussions to save the deal.

An Holcim/Lafarge agreement needs to be found before the CRH shareholder meeting on Thursday to ratify the CRH acquisition of Lafarge and Holcim assets needed to get antitrust clearance for the merger deal.


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