After reports that some Holcim shareholders are unhappy with the terms of the proposed merger with Lafarge, which is based on a one-for-one share exchange, the Financial Times is reporting today that the two companies are holding discussions that might change the terms of the deal, citing people familiar with the matter.
Holcim’s value has risen since the merger was first announced, putting it at around €23 billion to Lafarge’s €18.5 billion. Despite the disparity between their valuations when the merger was first proposed last April (€21 billion to €18.4 billion), the deal has always been presented as a ‘merger of equals’. In part, this is said to be due to consideration of its reception in France, where the government would likely resist a takeover.
On 9 March, Holcim issued the following statement:
‘As announced on April 7, 2014, Holcim and Lafarge entered into a business combination agreement on terms previously agreed and communicated to the press. The agreement is subject to various closing conditions.
The Board of Holcim has taken note of press statements about shareholder reactions relating to the commercial terms of the combination. The Board of Directors of Holcim does not comment on these statements, except to say that no direct quotes are attributable to Holcim.
Any transaction will have to be approved by two-thirds of Holcim's shareholders in an extraordinary general meeting, and two-thirds of Lafarge's shareholders will need to accept Holcim's exchange offer launched pursuant to French takeover rules.’
Lafarge has made no comment. Holcim’s AGM will take place on 13 April and Lafarge’s AGM will be held on 7 May.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/12032015/ft-reports-that-holcim-and-lafarge-are-in-discussions-over-terms-501/