LAFARGE / BLUE CIRCLE Approval by the Canadian Competition Bureau

1 January 1999

The Canadian Competition Bureau recently confirmed its decision not to challenge the acquisition by Lafarge of the British cement manufacturer Blue Circle Industries PLC.

This decision is subject to the divestment of two cement plants (Bowmanville and St Marys) and of significant concrete, aggregates and asphalt/paving assets held by Blue Circle in Ontario.

It follows the approval already given by the European Commission on March 2.

In the United States, discussions with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are proceeding on schedule.

On January 8 of this year, Lafarge announced a tender offer recommended by Blue Circle for the acquisition of that portion of the latter's share capital it did not already own. This tender offer was further approved by a large majority of Blue Circle shareholders on February 19.

With the acquisition of Blue Circle, Lafarge, world leader in building materials, will also become the first cement manufacturer worldwide with an annual capacity of approximately 150 million tonnes.

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