Swiss cement firm Holcim announced on 7 April 2014 to buy French rival Lafarge to create the world's biggest cement maker firm. The new company will be called LafargeHolcim. The combined firm will be based in Switzerland.
The firm will have combined sales of 32 billion euros. The deal will be the biggest-ever tie-up in the cement industry.
Under the terms of the deal, Lafarge shareholders will receive one Holcim share for each Lafarge share they own. The two firms agreed to sell some assets to ease competition concerns.
The new entity worth under 60 billion US dollar will see 53 per cent shareholder control for Holcim and 47 per cent for Lafarge.
The deal would help the companies slash costs, trim debt and better cope with the soaring energy prices, tough competition and weaker demand that have hurt the sector since the 2008 economic crisis.
The merged group will be present in 90 countries, with emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa accounting for 60 per cent of sales, but no single country representing more than 10 per cent.
Although the firms have overlapping operations in Europe, Lafarge is strong in Africa and the Middle East, whereas Holcim is almost absent in these regions.
Meanwhile, Holcim is strong in Latin America, where Lafarge is not established.
Lafarge is a French industrial company specialising in four major products: cement, construction aggregates, concrete and gypsum wallboard. The company is the world's largest cement manufacturer.
The company was founded in 1833. It is headquartered at Paris, France. Current CEO is Bruno Lafont.
Holcim is a Swiss based global building materials and aggregates company. The company also supplies ready-mix concrete and asphalt including associated construction services.
The company was founded in 1912. It is headquartered at JONA, Switzerland. Current CEO is Bernard Fontana.
When: 7 April 2014