Lafarge and Holcim set to win EU merger

Lafarge and Holcim are set to win the European Union’s approval for their merger deal to create the world’s biggest cement maker, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The two companies have already offered to sell businesses worth around 12 percent of their combined revenues but might have to sell one or two more assets to ease EU competition concerns, the people said.

The preliminary package includes assets to be sold off in France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and the UK. Non-European assets going on the block will be in Canada, Brazil, the Philippines and Mauritius.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso, Lafarge and Holcim declined to comment on whether the deal would be approved by the Commission. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is due to make her final decision in the coming days.

Lafarge’s shares ended 1.8 percent higher at 57.93 euros (45.4 pounds) on Wednesday. Holcim closed up 1.3 percent at 73 Swiss francs.

The Commission has set a December 15 deadline for a decision.

A Lafarge spokeswoman said eight regulators, including Russia, Turkey and South Africa, have already given the go-ahead to the deal.

However, India’s competition watchdog has asked for more details, saying the deal could damage competition there.

Last month Holcim said it had received more than 60 bids from industry interests and private equity firms for the assets. The companies hope their merger will help them cut costs and better cope with overcapacity and weak demand.

Source

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