Holcim, Lafarge eye consolidation of PH businesses

Posted at 07/07/2014 4:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Cement makers Holcim Philippines and Lafarge Republic are exploring the possibility of combining their businesses, as their parent companies are set to merge.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, Holcim and Lafarge disclosed that they are exploring and studying the combination of all or part of their businesses with each other.

"It is contemplated that such a combination may create synergies and opportunities to further grow the business in the robust Philippine market with benefits to all stakeholders," Holcim Philippines said.

However, Lafarge said any proposed consolidation of their businesses would not include its two plants in Norzagaray, Bulacan and its Iligan plant owned by subsidiary Lafarge Iligan, Inc. and their related assets. It noted these assets are being considered for divestment.

Reuters on Monday reported Lafarge SA and Holcim Ltd proposed a series of asset sales across Europe, including all of Holcim's French activities and Lafarge's German ones, as they seek approval from competition regulators for their merger.

The two companies need to shed around 5 billion euros (4 billion pounds) in assets to try to persuade regulators to back the proposed merger unveiled in April, which would create the world's biggest cement maker with $44 billion in annual sales.

The companies said they would seek buyers for operations in Austria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Britain, Canada, the Philippines, Mauritius and Brazil among others.

The tie-up of the two cement giants is expected to close in the first half of 2015. - With Reuters