Lafarge to acquire the cement division of Raymond Limited in India

28 April 2000

Lafarge today entered into an Agreement with Raymond Limited to acquire Raymond's Cement Division in eastern India at a price of US$180 million. The Cement Division of Raymond has a cement plant with 2.24 million tonnes capacity located at Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh. The transaction is subject to the necessary approvals and satisfactory completion of all terms and conditions as per the Agreement.

This is the second major acquisition being made by Lafarge in the Indian cement sector. Lafarge currently has a 2 million tonnes cement operation in eastern India, which it acquired from TISCO in November 1999. After the take-over of Raymond's Cement Division, Lafarge will have a total cement capacity of 4.24 million tonnes from three cement units and emerge as an important player in the east Indian markets.

Raymond Limited is a publicly listed company, being the flagship of the Vijaypat Singhania group of companies, which is famous for its products in the worsted suiting fabric and other woollen products. Raymond's Cement Division has a strong market position in West Bengal, Bihar and the North-eastern states. Lafarge expects to improve the performance of the Cement Division through know-how transfer and process enhancements.

Mr. Thomas Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge's Indian operations, said: "Due to the proximity of Raymond's cement plant to our key east Indian markets, this acquisition is an important strategic step for Lafarge in India providing considerable synergies with our existing operations."

Lafarge is a world leader in construction materials including cement, concrete, aggregates, roofing, gypsum and speciality products. Lafarge has nearly 100 cement and grinding plants in 70 countries aggregating more than 100 million tonnes of capacity. Lafarge employs 71,000 people and generates annual sales of US$10.5 billion.

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