Lafarge, Holcim expect to complete merger in H1 2015

PARIS, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2014 1:16am EDT

PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) - Cement makers Lafarge and Holcim on Monday unveiled the terms of a merger that will create a giant with combined sales of 32 billion euros ($44 billion).

The transaction will be structured as a public exchange offer initiated by Holcim with an exchange ratio of 1 Holcim share for 1 Lafarge share and is expected to generate synergies totaling more than 1.4 billion euros, the companies said.

Wolfgang Reitzle will be chairman of the new merged entity while Lafarge's current chief Bruno Lafont will become its chief executive, the companies said in a statement.

To gain regulatory approval, they expect they will have to divest assets worth 10-15 percent of their global earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The deal, which has won unanimous approval from the two boards of directors and support from core shareholders, is expected to close in the first half of 2015, the statement read. ($1 = 0.7303 Euros) (Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by James Regan)

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