Lafarge and Blue Circle enter Ouganda

23 April 1999

The LAFARGE Group and BLUE CIRCLE Industries, through their respective joint ventures Bamburi Cement Ltd. and Cemholding, have acquired a majority stake in the capital of Hima Cement in Uganda.

Hima Cement, the country's leading cement producer, operates a plant with a potential annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes. Located 300 kilometers southwest of the capital city, Kampala, it is conveniently situated to supply not only the domestic market but also a number of frontier regions in the neighboring countries of Congo (formerly Zaire) and Rwanda.

Uganda has a population of 22 million, and its cement market enjoys regular growth. It reached 500,000 tonnes in 1998, and a 5% to 10% yearly increase is foreseen over the coming years.

This latest acquisition strengthens the presence of Lafarge and Blue Circle in East Africa. The two groups already satisfy 60% of cement demand in Kenya through their joint subsidiary, Bamburi Cement Ltd., which operates two plants in Mombasa and Nairobi.

World leader in construction materials, Lafarge employs 66,000 people in 65 countries and generates annual sales of FRF 64.3 billion (about 10 billion euros). Lafarge holds top-ranking positions in all five of its divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing, Gypsum and Specialty Products.

Blue Circle Industries plc., a long established leading UK corporation, is the parent company of an international group active in heavy building materials and heating products with particularly significant positions in the United Kingdom, North America and Asia.