Acquisition of Blue Circle finalised

12 July 2001

Lafarge has announced that having received the sanction of the High Court, the scheme of arrangement for the acquisition of Blue Circle Industries has now become effective. The shares of Blue Circle will therefore be de-listed today.

As announced, the sale to VOTORANTIM of certain assets currently owned by Blue Circle in the North American Great Lakes area, for a total amount of $US 727 million, is therefore due to proceed shortly.

The process of integration of BCI with Lafarge can now begin in earnest and, as previously announced, is expected to be completed by 31 December 2001. In this regard, Alistair Cox and Tony Hadley, previously with BCI, are being named Regional Presidents for parts of Asia and Africa.

Bertrand Collomb, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge stated: "The pre-integration process went very smoothly and I am looking forward to the integration process which is set to proceed in the same way". Collomb added: "This major acquisition will contribute significantly to the creation of value".

Commenting about Rick Haythornthwaite, stepping down as CEO of Blue Circle Industries, Collomb said: "I am very happy to be able to benefit from the rich experience of Rick Haythornthwaite and it is with great pleasure that I will propose to our Board in September that he becomes a non executive Director of Lafarge".

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