Chinese approve Lafarge purchase

Chinese approve Lafarge purchase
Published: 21 May 2007

The China Security Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has approved the acquisition of Sichuan Shuangma Investment Group, in Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, in southwest China, by Lafarge Shui On Cement Ltd., according to Lafarge sources.

Cyrille Ragoucy, CEO of Lafarge Shui On, called it a win-win for both sides, referring to the combination of his company’s management experience and cement manufacturing technology knowledge and Shuangma’s well-trained workforce and market position.

He pledged that Lafarge Shui On Cement will fulfill its commitments and obligations under the agreement, which include keeping the Shuangma workforce and upgrading the production facilities by replacing some of the old technology, so that they reach Lafarge’s environmental and safety standards as soon as possible.

CSRC’s approval gives Lafarge Shui On a waiver from a takeover bid of the remaining shares of the publicly listed Sichuan Shuangma Cement Joint Stock Co. Ltd. which are not under the scope of share purchase agreement with Mianyang State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration commission dated November 15, 2005, according to Ragoucy.

Under the agreement, two cement plants, located in Jiangyou andYibin, as well as other related production facilities will join Lafarge Shui On.

Lafarge Shui On is a joint venture established on November 9th, 2005 between Lafarge Group, a world leader in building materials industry and Shui On Construction & Materials Ltd., a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Shui On Group.

The joint venture now has five business units in Beijing, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan with 20 cement plants, 21 million tons in capacity and over 10,000 employees.

Shuangma, which was founded in 1956, has an annual capacity of more than 3 million tons of cement and is one of the largest cement manufacturers in Sichuan Province.