Switzerland's Holcim, France's Lafarge modify deal described as merger of equals

FRANKFURT – Switzerland’s Holcim and France’s Lafarge have come up with new terms for their merger, which would create the world’s largest cement company.

The combination was first proposed in April 2014 but Holcim sought to rework what the companies say is to be a merger of equals.

Under the new deal, the share swap is now nine Holcim shares for 10 Lafarge shares, instead of one for one. And Lafarge chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont would no longer become CEO of the merged company. Lafont and Holcim board chairman Wolfgang Reitzle would become co-chairmen while a CEO would be named later, in time for the filing of the public offer to Lafarge shareholders.

The companies said in a statement Friday that “the two chairmen will be working closely together to make this merger a success.”

They said both sides “are continuing to work intensively on preparing the closing of the transaction and the successful integration post-merger.”

The companies said key shareholders have confirmed support. The deal is to be presented to Holcim shareholders in May and the companies expect to close the transaction in July.