Holcim to Slash 120 Jobs in Switzerland
May 20 15
Holcim announced that the company plans to cut around 120 jobs in Switzerland as it is reorganizing its operations in relation to the merger with Lafarge. The company said that the reorganization's objective is to "create a lean organization with empowered countries, regional management platforms, and group functions for the combined company. The implementation of the new organizational structure is expected to start in early 2016.
Federal Trade Commission Requires Holcim Ltd. and Lafarge S.A. to Divest Assets as Condition of Merger
May 4 15
Holcim Ltd. and Lafarge S.A. have agreed to divest plants, terminals, and a quarry to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their proposed $25 billion merger creating the world’s large cement manufacturer would likely harm competition in the United States. According to a complaint filed by the FTC, the merger of Holcim and Lafarge, would have harmed competition in 12 markets for portland cement, an essential ingredient in making concrete, and in two additional markets for slag cement, a specialty cement used for making more durable concrete structures. The complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would likely substantially lessen competition in the following 12 geographic markets for portland cement: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota; western Wisconsin; eastern Iowa; Memphis, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans, Louisiana; Detroit, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; northern Michigan; western Montana; and Boston, Massachusetts-Providence, Rhode Island. The complaint also alleges that the merger would likely harm competition in two regional markets for slag cement: the Mid-Atlantic and the western Great Lakes. In each of these markets, Holcim and Lafarge are either the only two significant suppliers, or two of, at most, four significant suppliers. Under the terms of the proposed consent agreement, Lafarge has agreed to divest to Continental Cement Company its Davenport cement plant and quarry in Buffalo, Iowa; and its cement terminals and other distribution assets in Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Memphis, Tennessee; and Convent and New Orleans, Louisiana. Holcim will divest - to Eagle Materials Inc. its Skyway slag cement plant in Chicago; to Essroc Cement Corporation its slag cement plant located in Camden, New Jersey and its terminal near Boston; to Buzzi Unicem USA its cement terminals in Grandville and Elmira, Michigan and Rock Island, Illinois; and to a buyer or buyers to be approved by the FTC its Trident, Montana cement plant and two related terminals in Alberta, Canada; and its Mississauga cement plant in Ontario, Canada and related cement terminals in: Duluth, Minnesota; Detroit and Dundee, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. The proposed consent agreement includes a hold separate order to ensure that Holcim and Lafarge continue to act independently and maintain the relevant assets until they are divested. The proposed consent agreement also allows the Commission to appoint a monitor to oversee the merging parties’ compliance with their obligations under the settlement agreement. Further details about the divestitures are set in the analysis to aid public comment for this matter. The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-1, with Commissioner Joshua D. Wright voting no. The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, and continuing through June 4, 2015, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Comments can be filed electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the 'Supplementary Information' section of the Federal Register notice.
Holcim Ltd. Reports Earnings Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2015
May 1 15
Holcim Ltd. reported earnings results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015. For the quarter, the company reported net sales of CHF 3,972 million against CHF 4,088 million a year ago. Operating EBITDA was CHF 593 million against CHF 617 million a year ago. Adjusted operating EBITDA was CHF 637 million against CHF 617 million a year ago. Operating profit was CHF 261 million against CHF 295 million a year ago. Adjusted operating profit was CHF 306 million against CHF 295 million a year ago. EBITDA was CHF 1,037 million against CHF 673 million a year ago. Net income was CHF 378 million against CHF 179 million a year ago. Net income attributable to company was CHF 310 million against CHF 80 million a year ago. Cash flow used in operating activities was CHF 214 million against CHF 243 million a year ago. Net financial debt was CHF 9,670 million against CHF 9,644 million a year ago. Earnings per share diluted were CHF 0.95 against CHF 0.24 per share a year ago.