Holcim’s Second-Largest Shareholder Unhappy with New Merger Deal

Eurocement Holding AG, the second-largest shareholder in Holcim Ltd., plans to vote against the Swiss company’s merger with Lafarge SA unless the financial terms of the deal are altered, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Eurocement, which holds 10.82 percent of Holcim, believes the terms of the deal continue to undervalue Holcim despite a revision of the agreement, said a source familiar with the situation. The deal, which was originally structured as a one-for-one share swap, now offers nine Holcim shares for 10 Lafarge shares.

The shareholder’s opposition comes a little more than a week after Holcim and Lafarge altered the terms of their $44 billion merger following a tense renegotiation over the financial terms and leadership of the combined company. One of the biggest issues was the role of Lafarge Chief Executive Bruno Lafont, who was originally slated to run the combined entity but will now serve as nonexecutive co-chairman. The companies have yet to state who will run the combined operation or if a decision on who that person will be has been made.

The merger requires the approval of two-thirds of Holcim’s shareholders. An extraordinary shareholders meeting is scheduled for May 8.

The person familiar with the situation said Eurocement’s complaint is solely with the exchange ratio, and the company has notified Holcim and Lafarge of its concerns.

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