Seven months after taking the reins of Lafarge, Bruno Lafont, the CEO of French construction materials group, signed its first external growth operation. And it is major. Yesterday announced the resumption of the Egyptian company Orascom Cement project (2.6 billion 1.8 billion euros turnover expected for 2008) is important first by its amount: Lafarge is EUR 8.8 billion on the table to acquire 100 of the capital of the first cement to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) basin. It is the largest acquisition in the history of the group. This amount are added Moreover 1.4 billion of net debt recovery. For memory, the number one global cement had paid 7.4 billion in 2001 to get their hands on the British Blue Circle and 2.5 billion, five years later, to buy the shares of the minority of Lafarge North America subsidiary.
This strategic movement, in which BNP Paribas is once again part involved, is major also by its impact on the capital plan. Funding provides, in addition to a recourse debt of 6 billion euros, a capital increase reserved for the majority shareholder with his family of OIC, Nassef Sawiris (read below). Subject to the green light from the shareholders of Lafarge, which will be met by the end of January, the latter will acquire 22.5 million new shares at a price of EUR 125 per title and will thus provide it 11.4 of the capital of the company. In addition, it will have two seats on the Board of Directors, which will join at the same time Group Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) Albert brother with three representatives. But, contrary to the financial Belgian, which bought its shares on the market, Nassef Sawiris will linked to Lafarge by a set of commitments formally, this is not a shareholders Pact over a period of ten years. It is especially expected that participation does not vary over four years. Subsequently, it can evolve with a 20 ceiling not without commitments to not disrupt stock market.
Results reviewed to increase
Major, acquisition of Orascom Cement is still operational, the direction of Lafarge calling it even "decisive acceleration." It allows first to amplify the development in emerging countries: the Egyptian brings its place number one in Egypt, Algeria, United Arab Emirates and in Iraq, and "strategic positions" in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey. It is also present in South Africa, Nigeria and North Korea. In fact, emerging markets would generate 65 of the gross operating surplus in 2010, compared to 55 in 2008. None of them represent more than 6, attaches to Lafarge, as in response to those worried to see the French too bet on countries at risk.
Orascom Cement is also a sacred lever in terms of increase in production capacity, allowing the group to double its programme for 2006-2010. As a result, its capacity will be 260 million tonnes in the term, against 170 million four years earlier. In parallel, 150 million euros of synergies annually are expected from 2010.
Finally, on a financial level, the integration of Orascom Cement has a positive impact on earnings per share (EPS) of Lafarge in the first year. This led the purchaser to revise upward its objectives. Lafarge thus table on a BPA from 15 euros in 2010, 7.86 euros last year, and a return on capital employed of more than 12, compared to 9.4 in 2006. All of which are that the operation has been attention to the Paris stock exchange, the title Lafarge registering the highest increase in the CAC 40, to close at 121,75 euros (13.08).