Lafarge / Blue Circle approval by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

18 June 2001

Lafarge is pleased to announce that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States of America has cleared the acquisition by Lafarge of Blue Circle Industries PLC.

This acquisition was already cleared by the European Commission on 1st March 2001 and, subject to a divestment undertaking, by the Canadian Competition Bureau on 11th April 2001.

In North America the divestment undertakings required by the Canadian Competition Bureau and by the FTC include in the Great Lakes area two cement plants (Bowmanville and St Marys), a grinding station, several cement shore terminals and various concrete, aggregates and asphalt/paving assets.

Such requirement is already largely satisfied by an agreement recently made with Votorantim for the sale of most of these assets for USD 727 million.

A lime plant in Alabama and another cement terminal in New York State are also being sold pursuant to these divestment undertakings.

As a result of the clearance of the FTC, the scheme of arrangement is expected to become effective on 11th July 2001, after the sanction of the High Court scheduled on that date. The trading of Blue Circle shares shall therefore be suspended one day before and their de-listing should take place one day after such sanction. Blue Circle shareholders are being informed through a circular requesting them to return by 6th July 2001, the form of election for the consideration to be paid for their shares. This consideration shall be received by them no later than 25th July 2001.

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

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