GENEVA–The boards of Switzerland’s Holcim and French rival Lafarge have agreed to the merger of their companies to create the world’s largest cement maker, Le Figaro newspaper reported Sunday. The paper said the Holcim board met early Saturday and that of Lafarge late in the day, but did not give a source. The two companies had confirmed talks to merge on Friday. “Holcim and Lafarge believe that … there is rationale in considering a potential merger that could deliver significant benefits to customers, employees and shareholders,” they said in separate but near-identical statements. The new group’s headquarters will be in Switzerland, with company sites both in France and Switzerland.
Bruno Lafont, CEO of Lafarge, will be in charge of operations as CEO of the new group. Le Figaro said the new president would be Swiss. The Swiss company had said Friday that talks were at an “advanced” stage. On its website, Lafarge describes itself as the global number one for cement, number two for aggregates and number four for concrete.