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Lafarge-Holcim merger gets Brussels boost

The European Commission has approved plans for a merger between Lafarge and Holcim.

Materials giant Lafarge revealed plans to merge with Swiss rival Holcim back in July.

Now Brussels chiefs have given the deal the go-ahead – provided the two companies sell various parts of their European empires.

The decision is conditional upon the divestment of Lafarge businesses in Germany, Romania and the UK as well as Holcim operations in France, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The Commission said this would address concerns of a detrimental effect on competition in a significant number of markets.

The merged company will be the world’s largest cement producer with operations in 90 countries.

Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said “Vibrant competitive markets in the construction sector are crucial for the Commission’s ambition of boosting investments.

“The remedy package in this case is very substantial. But that was necessary to allow a clear cut decision already in first phase. I am confident that this will allow the merger to proceed without compromising the interests of the customers in this sector”.

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