Recent speculation over whether Lafarge will make a full bid for Cimpor seems unfounded when one looks at the present shareholding structure. The Portuguese construction group Teixeira Duarte is the largest, and most influential, shareholder in Cimpor. The Portuguese businessman Manuel Fino, who has been on the board since 2004, is the second largest shareholder with a 19.0% stake. Lafarge has been increasing its stake of late and currently holds 17.3% of the equity and has two members on the board.
The long-standing relationship between Lafarge and Teixeira Duarte effectively controls Cimpor, and Lafarge, through a number of deals in which it has sold interests in cement businesses in Spain, Brazil and Turkey, has succeeded in placing shares in friendly hands, while at the same time releasing funds for investment elsewhere. That situation can be expected to continue for some years ahead.