Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-12-16 08:49:13
Cement giants Holcim Ltd. and Lafarge SA cleared a major hurdle toward their planned $43 billion merger after antitrust authorities in Europe said the deal could go ahead, subject to significant asset sales across the region.
The deal, if approved by other global competition regulators, would reshape the global cement industry, spawning a construction-materials juggernaut. It had been expected to face significant hurdles from antitrust authorities, particularly in Europe, given the scale of the two companies' operations in the region.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU's top antitrust official, announced the decision on Twitter late Monday. "Acquisition of Lafarge by Holcim is subject to conditions. The merger can proceed," Ms. Vestager tweeted, adding that it would be "good for growth."
The EU's approval is conditional on divestments by the two companies that Ms. Vestager described in a statement as "very substantial."
Holcim will have to sell all of its businesses in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, two plants in Spain, and most of its activities in France relating to cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates, according to a statement from the European Commission, the bloc's top antitrust regulator. More»