Holcim Lafarge merger hits difficulties

By Neill Barston16 March 2015



A planned merger between Swiss-based cement group Holcim and French firm Lafarge has stalled, as the companies seek further negotiations over terms of the deal.

Holcim said, “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.”

According to Lafarge, it said it had received a letter from the chairman of the board of directors of Holcim. This had indicated Holcim did not wish to pursue the merger agreement under the terms originally set out in July 2014.

Lafarge said its board of directors remained committed to the project that it intends to see implemented. “The board said it is willing to explore the possibility of a revision of the parity, in line with recent market conditions, but it will not accept any other modification of the terms of the existing agreements,” said Lafarge.

The move gained approval from the European Commission last December, which required both companies to divest assets in order for the plans to progress.

The merger would create what is believed to be the largest cement group in the world, with combined assets worth €40 billion.

In December, chairman and CEO of Lafarge Bruno Lafont was named as the future CEO of the combined company. An executive committee was also confirmed.

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