HeidelbergCement to sell Italcementi's Belgian operations as part of integration plan

HeidelbergCement to sell Italcementi's Belgian operations as part of integration plan

HeidelbergCement has laid out its plans for the restructuring of Italcementi's operations following the former's moves to acquire a 45 per cent stake in the Italian firm last July. These include selling off Italcementi’s entire Belgian operations to address competition concerns.

In a press release, HeidelbergCement said that the integration process will see the retention of Italcementi’s Italian operations and brand. The company adds that it expects the acquisition to be finalised by July 2016, subject to approval by US and EU regulators. 

Italcementi’s Belgian assets, comprised chiefly of its subsidiary, Compagnie des Ciments Belges SA, will be sold so as to remove all overlaps between the activities of HeidelbergCement and Italcementi in Belgium and The Netherlands. Without such a divestment, the merged firm would have a 69 per cent market share in Belgium. Analysts had expected that the European Commission would have required the sale of at least part of the combined business’s Belgian operations. 

HeidelbergCement stated that around 170 staff at Italcementi’s Bergamo HQ would receive relocation offers, while 230-260 could be made redundant. The company expects this process to take until 2020. Italcementi’s R&D facility in Bergamo will become the product R&D division for the whole of HeidelbergCement.

HeidelbergCement’s CEO, Dr Bernd Scheifele, said: “Following our motto ‘all business is local’, it is important for us to preserve Italcementi's strengths and professional expertise, which have ensured its success in Italy and abroad. I am convinced that we will be able to achieve the planned EUR400m in synergies and bring Italcementi back to profits by operational improvements, streamlining the administration and leveraging the increased size of our combined business”.