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EU Approves Lafarge-Holcim Merger To Form Cement Titan

EU Approves Lafarge-Holcim Merger To Form Cement Titan

EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the merger of French giant Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to type the world's biggest cement group after both sold parts of their enterprise to satisfy competitors concerns.

"Acquisition of Lafarge by Holcim is topic to conditions. The merger can proceed," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Twitter, adding the move was "good for development".

The European Commission said it allowed the merger to go ahead given that Lafarge divest businesses in Germany, Romania and Britain and that Holcim do the same in France, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Holcim and Lafarge introduced in April they have been merging to create the world's biggest cement group value 40 billion euros ($55 billion), with an eye on booming development in emerging markets.

The deal, a serious event within the international building trade, is based on the offer of 1 Holcim share for one Lafarge share.

The new firm will probably be called LafargeHolcim and "can have a singular place in 90 international locations and will be evenly balanced between growing international locations and international locations with strong development," the firms said in a joint statement.

They highlighted the match of their activities since Lafarge has a strong presence in Africa and Holcim in Latin America.

Nonetheless they both have big and competing pursuits in Europe.

The European Commission said it had had issues that the "transaction, as originally notified, would have" hurt competition in many markets in Europe but that the 2 companies later "dedicated to divesting many of the operations the place their actions overlap".

"With the treatments, we now have ensured that the creation of an increased world footprint of the group won't come on the expense of competitors within the EU," Vestager said in a statement.

"And this is the optimistic example in the present day's approval provides to different corporations which will have world ambitions," she said.

The Commission added that the 2 companies will not be allowed to complete their deal until it has approved the companies who will purchase the assets put up for sale.

- 'Nice satisfaction' -

Figures showed that the new large will employ 136,000 individuals, 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.four billion euros over three years.

LafargeHolcim might be in a robust position as a supplier of cement, a key basic materials in construction.

Building supply companies have been expanding in emerging international locations the place they see huge alternatives for progress as they face sluggish situations within the European building industry.

Shares within the new agency can be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.

"We welcome with nice satisfaction the fee's positive determination," said Wolfgang Reitzle, the longer term chairman of LafargeHolcim, and Bruno Lafont, the long run chief executive officer, in a joint statement.

"Because of this approval, we remain more than ever on the appropriate path to finalise the merger in the first half of 2015."

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