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Holcim Rules Out Making Takeover Offer for Bamburi Cement Kenya

Holcim Ltd. said it has no intention of making a takeover offer for Bamburi Cement Ltd. in Kenya if competition regulators allow its planned merger with Lafarge SA.

Holcim, based in Switzerland and Paris-based Lafarge SA are seeking antitrust backing for a planned $40 billion merger they want to complete by the first half of 2015. Once the transaction is finished, Holcim will have indirect control of Bamburi, which is 58.6 percent owned by two of Lafarge’s units -- Fincem Holding Ltd. and Kencem Ltd., the company said in a statement today in the Nairobi-based Daily Nation newspaper.

“We have no intention of making a takeover offer for BCL,” Holcim said. Bamburi will continue to trade on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, it said.

The Competition Authority of Kenya is examining Lafarge’s influence on cement prices in the country through its stake in Bamburi, the nation’s biggest producer of the building material and 42 percent of East Africa Portland Cement Co., or EAPC, ranked No. 3 in the country.

The authority has said Lafarge may have to dilute some of its interest in EAPC if the company is found to have a dominant position in the industry in violation of antitrust legislation.

Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, has seven cement producers, including ARM Cement Ltd., National Cement Co., Mombasa Cement Ltd., Savannah Cement Ltd. and Cemtech Ltd.

Shares of Bamburi rose 1.7 percent to 177 shillings by 2:20 p.m. in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

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