Lafarge, Holcim list asset sales in quest for merger approval

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Cement makers Lafarge and Holcim proposed a multi-billion euro series of asset sales - including multiple sites in Yorkshire - as they seek regulatory approval for their merger to create the world’s biggest cement maker.

The two companies need to shed assets generating about 5bn euros in annual revenue to help persuade competition watchdogs to back the proposed deal, unveiled in April and which would create a combined group with more than £25bn in yearly sales.

The companies said they would seek buyers for operations in Austria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Britain, Canada, the Philippines, Mauritius and Brazil, a series of sell-offs that would affect some 10,000 workers out of their global total of 130,000 .

According to a joint statement, the companies are proposing the sale in the UK of LaFarge Tarmac assets with the possible exception of one cement plant.

LaFarge Tarmac sites in Yorkshire can be found in Leeds, Bradford, Castleford, Dewsbury, Pontefract, Skipton, Bedale, Ripon, Doncaster and Sheffield.

Competition regulators in some 15 countries, as well as the European Commission, are expected to take a hard look at the deal, which brings together the world’s top two cement makers with a combined stock market value of more than $55 billion.

Holcim chief executive Bernard Fontana said the companies had already received about 50 expressions of interest from potential buyers and would soon begin negotiations.