Two powerhouses in the concrete industry in Europe have made arrangements to merge, creating a giant concrete conglomerate. France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim concrete companies have laid out the terms and conditions of their merger, cementing a deal that will make them the world’s largest concrete company. For Europe, this will increase overall concrete and cement production and allow for an easier way to transport concrete throughout the continent.
This merger was originally presented to board members of both companies in April of 2014. It took almost a year to finalize the deals and nail down how the merge will play out for both companies, with a lot at stake for employees at the heart of it. Holcim board chairman, Wolfgang Reitzle, will become co-chairman of the company under the new terms. A new CEO will be named later, with Lafarge chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont potentially out of the running. He was named CEO of the merged companies originally but under the new deal, Reitzle will lead the charge to find a new one.
While there’s still issues to work out between the merge of companies this size, it looks like it’ll be relatively smooth sailing from here. While not all mergers of this size are beneficial, especially to smaller businesses, for Europe looking to compete with Asia for concrete exports, this is good news. As parts of Europe still struggle to bring their cities into the modern world, a merge of this size could make concrete more widely available and affordable in Europe.