Lafarge Halla pulls out of Tong Yang Cement
Lafarge’s Korean cement arm, 39.9% owned by Lafarge and the remainder by financial investors, has sold its 25% stake in Tong Yang Cement Corporation to Tong Yang Major Corporation for US$138m. This compared with the US$100m that Lafarge Halla invested in this company on its formation almost exactly two years ago. However, when measured in euros, Lafarge’s accounting currency, the gain is less pronounced. Tong Yang Cement Corporation, previously 75% owned by the Korean conglomerate Tong Yang Major Corporation, is the second largest cement producer in Korea, operating a single seven kiln coastal works with an annual capacity of some 11m tonnes. The recovery in the Korean construction market over the past two years has no doubt improved the finances of Tong Yang and Lafarge is keen to strengthen its building materials business in Korea, where it is also a major gypsum producer, but is looking to do this in companies where it has management control.