• Switzerland's news in English
Holcim, Lafarge boards clear cement firm merger
Photo: AFP

Holcim, Lafarge boards clear cement firm merger

AFP · 6 Apr 2014, 08:31

Published: 06 Apr 2014 08:31 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The paper said the Holcim board met early Saturday and that of Lafarge late in the day, but did not give a source.

The two companies had confirmed talks to merge on Friday.

"Holcim and Lafarge believe that... there is rationale in considering a potential merger that could deliver significant benefits to customers, employees and shareholders," they said in separate but near-identical statements.

The new group's headquarters will be in Switzerland, with company sites both in France and Switzerland.

Bruno Lafont, CEO of Lafarge, will be in charge of operations as CEO of the new group. Le Figaro said the new president would be Swiss.

The Swiss company had said Friday that talks were at an "advanced" stage.

On its website, Lafarge describes itself as the global number one for cement, number two for aggregates and number four for concrete.

Industry observers note that the berths in the rankings vary according to methodology.

According to a 2013 ranking by specialised trade magazine Global Cement, which assesses overall output capacity based on a broad range of factors, China's Anhui Conch had an annual output capacity of 217 million tonnes, followed by Lafarge with 205 million tonnes and Holcim with 174 million tonnes.

The combined clout of Lafarge and Holcim would therefore create an industry behemoth.

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

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

Story continues below…

Lafarge began as a French limestone-quarrying company in 1833, and now employs 65,000 people in 64 countries, with sales of €15.8 billion.

After having surged Friday as rumours swirled concerning the merger talks, both companies' shares remained buoyant at the close of trading in Zurich and Paris.

Shares in Holcim soared 6.9 percent to 80.20 francs, while Switzerland's SMI index fell 0.21 percent.

Lafarge's shares jumped 8.9 percent to 64.09 euros, as Paris' main CAC 40 index gained 0.79 percent.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Protect Swiss waterways or lose our fish': WWF
Photo: Richi Stadelmann/WWF

Eighty-five percent of fish species in Switzerland are under threat, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SBB pilots new annual pass – costing 12,200 francs
The 'door-to-door' pass includes use of an electric car. Photo: SBB

Swiss federal railways (SBB) is looking for 100 people willing to pilot a new annual transport pass that includes use of an electric car.

Immigration to Switzerland falls as emigration rises
File photo: The Local

Immigration in Switzerland has fallen considerably this year, according to official figures.

Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available