Holcim, Lafarge deal ‘needs regulatory approval in 15 countries’

14 April 2014

Swiss cement producer Holcim’s (HOLN.VX) plans to merge with French peer Lafarge (LAFP.PA) and create the world’s biggest cement maker will be subject to an extensive review, the European Union’s antitrust chief said last week, Reuters reports. 

Holcim and Lafarge, the top two in the cement industry, unveiled the biggest tie-up in the sector last week, which will help the combined company slash costs, trim debt and better cope with soaring energy prices, tougher competition and weaker demand.

The size of the merger requires a lengthy examination before it can be approved, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Hellenic Competition Authority in Athens.

If approved, the combined group would be worth just under $60 billion.

“Last week the parties informed us of their intention but with very general information before the operation was known by the media. Now we will receive more detailed information because this should of course be analyzed at our level,” Almunia said.

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