With FTC nod, Buzzi, Eagle surface as latest Lafarge, Holcim asset suitors

Sources: CP staff; Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.

The FTC has opened to public comment a proposed consent agreement settling a complaint alleging that the Holcim Ltd. and Lafarge S.A. merger would likely harm competition in the U.S. It details a portfolio of Holcim (US) Inc. and Lafarge North America portland cement and slag cement production and distribution assets to be divested in conjunction with the parent companies’ union.

A May 4 FTC complaint alleges that a Lafarge and Holcim merger would substantially lessen competition for a) portland cement in 12 markets across Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana and Rhode Island; and, b) slag cement in mid-Atlantic and western Great Lakes regions. Under the consent agreement, Lafarge will sell Missouri-based Continental Cement Co. its Davenport cement plant and quarry in Buffalo, Iowa, plus terminals and other distribution assets in Minneapolis-St. Paul; La Crosse, Wis.; Memphis, Tenn.; and, Convent and New Orleans, La.

Holcim will divest its Chicago Skyway and Camden, N.J., slag cement plants, respectively, to Dallas-based Eagle Materials and Nazareth, Pa.-based Essroc Cement, the latter also acquiring a cement terminal near Boston. Bethlehem, Pa.-based Buzzi Unicem USA will acquire Holcim terminals in Rock Island, Ill., plus Elmira and Grandville, Mich. Additionally, Holcim will sell to FTC-approved buyer or buyers its Trident, Mont., cement plant and two companion terminals in Alberta, plus its Mississauga, Ontario, cement plant and five companion terminals serving Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and New York.

Comments on the proposed consent agreement can be filed, through June 4, electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the FTC’s Federal Register notice.

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