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article imageHolcim, Lafarge announce merger into global cement giant

By AFP     Apr 7, 2014 in Business

Switzerland's Holcim and French rival Lafarge announced on Monday that they have agreed to merge, creating the world's biggest cement company.

The new company will be called LafargeHolcim and "will have a unique position in 90 countries and will be evenly balanced between developing countries and countries with strong growth," the firms said in a join statement on Monday.

The new firm's chairman will be Holcim's Wolfgang Reitzle, with Lafarge's head Bruno Lafont becoming its chief executive officer. Holcim and Lafarge will each have seven seats on the new firm's board.

The two firms said on Friday that they were in merger talks and reports on Sunday said the respective boards agreed the move during weekend meetings.

The companies are aiming to complete the deal by the first quarter of 2015. Shares in the new firm will be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.

Founded in Switzerland in 1912, Holcim employs 71,000 people, with production sites in about 70 countries and a market presence on every continent.

In notched up net sales of 19.7 billion Swiss francs (16.1 billion euros, $22.2 billion) in 2013.

Lafarge began as a French limestone-quarrying company in 1833, and now employs 65,000 people in 64 countries, with annual sales of 15.8 billion euros ($21.7 billion).

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