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Holcim: no comment over merger speculation

Holcim

Firm not commenting on press statements about shareholder reactions to terms of planned merger

HOLCIM have said they will not comment on press statements about shareholder reactions to the terms of their planned merger with Lafarge. It is understood that Holcim’s largest shareholder, Swiss billionaire Thomas Schmidheiny, wants a better deal for the company’s shareholders in its planned merger with Lafarge.

According to Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, Holcim board member Mr Schmidheiney, who owns just over 20% of the firm, believes the proposed one-for-one share exchange deal is not in Holcim shareholders’ long-term interest following a period of strong performance by the Swiss firm.

The planned merger deal was agreed last April, but since then Holcim’s market value relative to that of Lafarge has risen, raising the possibility of a renegotiation of terms, say analysts.

In a statement issued today, Holcim said: ‘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.’

The statement continued: ‘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.’

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