EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the merger of French large Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to type the world's biggest cement group after each sold elements of their business to meet competition concerns.
"Acquisition of Lafarge by Holcim is topic to conditions. The merger can proceed," EU Competitors Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Twitter, adding the move was "good for progress".
The European Commission said it allowed the merger to go ahead provided that Lafarge divest businesses in Germany, Romania and Britain and that Holcim do the identical in France, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Holcim and Lafarge introduced in April they were merging to create the world's biggest cement group worth 40 billion euros ($55 billion), with an eye on booming construction in rising markets.
The deal, a significant occasion in the global building trade, is based on the supply of one Holcim share for one Lafarge share.
The new firm can be called LafargeHolcim and "may have a singular position in 90 international locations and will probably be evenly balanced between growing international locations and nations with sturdy growth," the corporations said in a joint statement.
They highlighted the match of their activities since Lafarge has a powerful presence in Africa and Holcim in Latin America.
However they each have big and competing interests in Europe.
The European Commission said it had had issues that the "transaction, as originally notified, would have" hurt competition in lots of markets in Europe but that the 2 corporations later "committed to divesting many of the operations where their activities overlap".
"With the treatments, we now have ensured that the creation of an elevated global footprint of the group won't come at the expense of competitors in the EU," Vestager said in a statement.
"And this is the constructive instance immediately's approval provides to other firms which will have global ambitions," she said.
The Commission added that the two firms won't be allowed to complete their deal until it has approved the companies who will buy the assets put up for sale.
- 'Nice satisfaction' -
Figures showed that the new giant will employ 136,000 people, and have annual sales of 32 billion euros and underlying profits of 6.5 billion euros.
The deal would generate economies of scale of 1.four billion euros over three years.
LafargeHolcim will be in a powerful position as a supplier of cement, a key fundamental materials in construction.
Building supply corporations have been increasing in emerging international locations the place they see large alternatives for growth as they face sluggish situations within the European building industry.
Shares in the new firm will likely be listed on stock exchanges in Paris and Zurich.
"We welcome with great satisfaction the fee's optimistic resolution," said Wolfgang Reitzle, the long run chairman of LafargeHolcim, and Bruno Lafont, the longer term chief executive officer, in a joint statement.
"Due to this approval, we remain more than ever on the suitable path to finalise the merger in the first half of 2015."
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