Holcim-Lafarge Merger ‘on hold’

17 March 2015

The proposed $44.27 billion merger between Switzerland-based Holcim Ltd. and France’s Lafarge SA, is on hold, after Holcim rejected the terms of the deal, March 16.

It appears the two big sticking points are over the stockholder share exchange ratio and exactly who will lead the combined operation. The deal reportedly calls for Lafarge Chief Executive Bruno Lafont to take the helm.

According to a statement from Holcim: “The Holcim Board of Directors has concluded that the combination agreement can no longer be pursued in its present form, and has proposed to enter into negotiations in good faith around the exchange ratio and governance issues.Lafarge said that it remains committed to the project that it intends to see implemented. The Board said it is only willing to explore a revision of the parity, but it will not accept any other modification of the terms of the existing agreements.

The Wall Street Journal reports that key Holcim shareholders began privately rejecting the terms last week, because since the deal was first announced last April, Holcim’s stock has outperformed Lafarge. Now that the overall merger is in limbo, it raises questions about several smaller deals set up to clear antitrust regulations.

Last month, Holcim and Lafarge announced a $7 billion+ deal to sell Ireland’s CRH PLC cement factories and facilities in Europe, Canada, Brazil and the Philippines. The asset sales are conditional on the Lafarge-Holcim deal being completed. Holcim and Lafarge would be required to pay CRH a combined €157 million if the deal falters.

By Kendra Kozen

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue