Lafarge fails to collect the majority of Blue Circle Industries shares

3 May 2000

The bid to acquire all the capital of Blue Circle Industries launched by Lafarge early February did not succeed in attracting the majority of shares. Consequently, the bid is now null and void.

While the acquisition of Blue Circle would clearly have been of strategic benefit for Lafarge, it was only conceivable at a price level that would have made it possible to create value for the Group's own shareholders. The price of 450 pence per share, which was judged insufficient by the majority of Blue Circle shareholders, corresponded to this criterion.

The failure of the bid does not, however, detract from the Group's determination to pursue its development in Cement as well as in its other businesses. It will continue to exploit future growth opportunities and strengthen its position as world leader in construction materials.

Lafarge currently owns 19.99% of shares in Blue Circle, while its consulting bank (Dresdner Bank) holds a further 9.61%.

Lafarge's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Collomb said: "Although we are disappointed that the operation we planned will not materialise, we are better placed than ever to press ahead with our development strategy, while delivering value creation to our shareholders".

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