Holcim open to Eurocement offer

Joseph Millis
SWISS cement maker Holcim is open to giving Russia’s Eurocement a seat on the board after its merger with French peer Lafarge goes through, chairman Wolfgang Reitzle said yesterday.

Russian businessman Filaret Galchev, who owns a 10.8 per cent stake in Holcim via Eurocement Holding, on Sunday rejected the renegotiated merger terms that Holcim had reached with Lafarge in mid-March.

“You can assume that we are speaking with all shareholders and also with him,” Reitzle told Bloomberg news service, referring to Galchev’s Eurocement.

“It would be beneficial to have him in the board as he would bring in lots of expertise from the cement sector.”

Reitzle also said that the future chief executive of the combined company would be named in the next two weeks.

He excluded re-opening the negotiations with Lafarge on the share-exchange ratio or paying a special dividend to Holcim shareholders to win them over to the deal.

Holcim shareholders, some of whom remain sceptical of the cement industry mega-merger, must ratify the deal at a shareholder meeting on 8 May.

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