Thomas Schmidheiny reduces stake in Switzerland's LafargeHolcim

FILE PHOTO: The company's new logo is pictured at the headquarters of LafargeHolcim in Zurich, Switzerland, July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Thomas Schmidheiny, a major shareholder in LafargeHolcim, said he had cut his stake in the Swiss cement maker to 7.2% from 10.9% to diversify his investment portfolio.

Schmidheiny,73, said in a statement on Tuesday the decision was part of his “careful retirement and heritage planning.”

“This does not change my firm belief in the company’s excellent prospects. LafargeHolcim may therefore continue to count on my full support,” he said.

A spokesman for LafargeHolcim declined to comment.

The reduction will be executed simultaneously in two tranches, the first comprising about 2.4% of the share capital, was sold on Tuesday in a block trade.

The second tranche, about 1.3% of the share capital, involved a derivative transaction via call options which would allow Schmidheiny to participate in any share price increase, the Swiss entrepreneur said in the statement.

He said he had no plans to reduce his holdings any further.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Edmund Blair