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Lafarge bid for Blue Circle ends in failure

LAFARGE's attempt to acquire Blue Circle Industries ended in failure last month after the majority of BCI shareholders rejected the French firm's cash offer of 450p a share. Lafarge had hoped to secure control of the company on 3 May, the final deadline for acceptances, but only managed to secure 24.53% of the equity, representing a total of 44.52% of BCI.

Rick Haythornthwaite, chief executive of Blue Circle, said: 'We are delighted to have retained our independence. We have argued all along that Lafarge's offer undervalued our company and our shareholders have shown that they agree.'

Lafarge, who currently own 19.99% of shares in Blue Circle, said they were disappointed with the outcome but that the failure of the bid would not detract from the group's determination to pursue its development in cement as well as other businesses.

Commenting on the failed bid, Lafarge's chairman and chief executive officer, Bertrand Collomb, said: 'Although we are disappointed that the operation we planned will not materialize, we are better placed than ever to press ahead with our development strategy while delivering value creation to our shareholders.'

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