April 7, 2014
The worldwide cement industry is about to get a little bit smaller as the Switzerland-based Holcim and France-based Lafarge join forces in a “merger of equals.” The resulting company would have annual sales of $44 billion and market capitalization of $50 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The new company would be named LafargeHolcim and be headquartered in Switzerland. Holcim board member Wolfgang Reitzle is expected to serve as chairman of the merged entity. Lafarge’s chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont will serve as its CEO. Seven people from each company will be represented on the board.
In a CNBC interview, Lafont said the merger is “a fantastic value proposition for our shareholders.” He adds it will allow the new company to improve its portfolio and growth exposure for the combined company.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approval and will make the combined company the world’s largest cement company, moving it ahead of Cemex and Heidelberg Cement.