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Bernard Fontana confirms Holcim-Lafarge merger is on track

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World Cement,

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Holcim CEO Bernard Fontana has said that the merger with Lafarge is on track, with the companies at the point of formally notifying regulators of their plans to tackle antitrust concerns.

In the interview, Mr Fontana revealed that discussions with the European Union are at an ‘advanced stage’ and that he expects formal notification to be made this summer. In all, the companies have filed formal notifications in about two-thirds of the 15 jurisdictions that require a review. The deal is still expected to close by this time next year.

Speaking about the announcement a few weeks ago, detailing which assets would be sold, Mr Fontana said that the approach the companies to chose – largely, to sell off one company’s entire assets in the country and keep the other – would ‘sit well with regulators, maintain entire businesses that function well and generate the greatest proceeds from the sale process’. He added that more than 100 expressions of interest have been received from potential buyers, including private-equity groups and companies in the cement industry, some of which he said were from emerging markets.

Mr Fontana said that the merger of the two companies provides greater opportunities to sell value-added products and services around the world. 

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