LafargeHolcim considers “strategic options” for Mideast operations, including in Egypt
M&A WATCH- LafargeHolcim considers “strategic options” for its Middle East operations, including in Egypt: Some 2,500 Egyptian workers and professionals employed by Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim could be getting a new corporate parent as the company considers a sale of all or some of its assets in the Middle East, sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg. The potential plan is part of the company’s effort to refocus its operations toward Europe and reduce its debt and sell off assets “that don’t contribute to its core business.” Lafarge has a deep track record of projects in Egypt, including Cairo Festival City, Cairo International Airport’s Terminal 2, and real estate compound Mountain View Hyde Park.
Background: Reports had emerged last year that Lafarge was looking to divest some or all of its Egyptian assets as part of a new cost-cutting and asset sale strategy that would see the company shed USD 4.1 bn in assets and leave two or three countries. Lafarge acquired in 2008 Orascom Construction’s USD 10.1 bn cement business, which included plants in Egypt, Algeria, and the UAE. Nassef Sawiris, the company’s third-largest shareholder, sold off last month USD 67.5 mn-worth of shares in LafargeHolcim, but remains a major shareholder in the company.