Lafarge, which has held a 39.9 per cent interest in Lafarge Halla Cement in South Korea since 2000, now owns a 50.1 per cent stake following the acquisition of 10.2 per cent of the company's shares from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board for US$71m. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board remains a shareholder with a 19.9 per cent. Lafarge Halla Cement, the fourth-largest cement producer in South Korea, owns three industrial facilities and has an annual cement capacity of 7.5Mt.
"Since Lafarge took its first position in the South Korean gypsum market in 1997, we have pursued a dynamic expansion strategy in both cement and gypsum. Our majority shareholding in the capital of Lafarge Halla Cement represents a significant new milestone. Looking towards the future, it provides us with a platform for further profitable growth in this expanding market commented Bernard Kasriel, the Group's Chief Executive Officer.
The Lafarge group has been established in South Korea since 1997 with its gypsum activity. With three plants at Yosu, Ulsan and Dangjin, Lafarge holds a leading position in the country's wallboard market. Lafarge is present in cement since 2000 with its participation in Lafarge Halla Cement which employs around 900 persons in three industrial sites in Okke, Singi and kwangYang.