Galchev rejects Holcim-Lafarge merger terms

Galchev rejects Holcim-Lafarge merger terms

Russian businessman Filaret Galchev, who owns 10.8 per cent stake in Switzerland’s Holcim via Eurocement Holding AG, has rejected the takeover offer that France's Lafarge has made for Holcim, a Swiss n

ewspaper reported on Sunday.

Galchev, Holcim’s second-largest shareholder, views the offer as “not satisfactory and half-baked”, the Sonntagszeitung reported, citing an unnamed source described as a Galchev confidant.

Galchev believes the exchange ratio offered by Lafarge at 1:0.9 shares still fails to compensate Holcim shareholders adequately, and that a decision needs to be made about who will lead any combined firm, the paper wrote.

Holcim and Lafarge have agreed a new share-swap ratio that was more advantageous to Holcim investors and also decided that Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont would no longer become chief executive of what would become the world’s largest cement firm with annual sales of more than 30 billion euros.  However, an alternative has yet to be named. Separately, on Friday, another major Holcim shareholder expressed similar concerns, saying that he needed to know who would lead the enlarged group before he can decide whether to back the deal.

Meanwhile, finding prima facie violation of competition norms in the proposed Holcim-Lafarge merger, fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) in November 2014 launched a public scrutiny of the details of the deal that would create one of the world's largest cement makers. This is the second public scrutiny of a M&A deal by the CCI after Ranbaxy - Sun Pharma merger.

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