Lafarge Slumps as Third-Largest Shareholder Sberbank Exits

  • Sberbank selling a 6.12 percent stake it got from Eurocement
  • UBS is sole bookrunner on share sale, valued at $1.5 billion
Photographer: Philipp Schmidli/Bloomberg

Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s largest lender, is selling a stake in LafargeHolcim Ltd. valued at about 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion), sending shares in the Swiss cement maker down to their lowest level since 2009.

UBS Group AG is sole bookrunner on the sale of 37.2 million shares, according to a termsheet obtained by Bloomberg. Sberbank acquired a 6.12 percent stake in LafargeHolcim last month from its competitor Eurocement Holding AG as part of a repurchase agreement, making the Russian lender the third-largest stakeholder.

The share placement was priced at 36.25 Swiss francs, according to a person familiar with the process who could not be named because it isn’t public. Shares of LafargeHolcim were down 6.2 percent at 37.43 francs by 10:15 a.m. in Zurich. So far this year, the stock has tumbled 26 percent, erasing more than $7 billion in market value.

Eurocement spokeswoman Inna Kolesnikova declined to comment as did Sberbank CIB spokeswoman Maria Gorodisskaya.

Sberbank and Eurocement signed a cooperation agreement in 2014 to help fund construction of cement manufacturing plants in Russia. The agreement also enabled the two companies to cooperate on a range of issues from settlement and cash services to investment banking activities.

Also Thursday, LafargeHolcim said it is considering selling a stake in Lafarge India as an alternative remedy to antitrust rules relating to the merger that created the company from French and Swiss cement makers. It had previously agreed to sell two factories in India, a plan that was rejected by the Competition Commission of India.

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