May 24, 2018 / 3:15 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-LafargeHolcim to announce headquarters shake-up - sources

(Adds details and background)

ZURICH, May 24 (Reuters) - LafargeHolcim is poised to launch a major shake-up of its head offices in Paris and Zurich which could trigger hundreds of job cuts, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The overhaul, set to be announced within days, is part of the cost-cutting drive by the Franco-Swiss cement maker whose 2015 combination was sold as a merger of equals.

LafargeHolcim could close its Paris office following a review of its operations, the sources said, while some jobs may be axed at its Zurich head office.

A LafargeHolcim spokesman declined to comment on what he called rumours.

Under the planned changes, LafargeHolcim could shift some jobs from its head office in Zurich to the Swiss town of Holderbank, where its predecessor company Holcim opened its first cement plant in 1912.

The review of the Swiss operations could also mean some functions moving to a smaller office in Zug, Switzerland.

LafargeHolcim, forged through a merger of Switzerland’s Holcim and France’s Lafarge in 2015, has struggled with a chequered start to life as a combined company.

It parted with Chief Executive Eric Olsen last year after it acknowledged paying armed groups to keep a factory running in Syria. Olsen denies any wrongdoing in the matter, which is being investigated by the authorities in France.

The company’s results have also been disappointing so far, triggering a revamp of its strategy under new Chief Executive Jan Jenisch, focusing more on growth and concentrating on fewer markets.

The group in March announced a 400 million Swiss franc ($404 million) cost-cutting programme, saying it would be closing its Singapore and Miami offices by the middle of this year.

$1 = 0.9909 Swiss francs Reporting by John Revill and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Michael Shields

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