The Lafarge Gypsum Division and Atlas acquire Dolina Nidy in Poland

6 December 1999

Lafarge and Atlas have signed a finalized agreement with the Polish Treasury for the purchase of an 80% holding in Dolina Nidy. The transaction amounts to USD 60 million.

The Polish Treasury was represented by Treasury Minister Emil Wasacz, and the Franco-Polish consortium by Bruno Lafont, CEO of the Lafarge Group Gypsum Division, and Andrzeja Walczka, Chairman of the Atlas Group.

Dolina Nidy owns one of the largest gypsum quarry in Poland and produces powdered plaster and gypsum blocks. Its subsidiary, Nida Gips, is the largest producer of gypsum wallboard and related systems in Poland.

Lafarge's Gypsum Division and Atlas have committed themselves to carrying out an industrial investment program over the next five years representing total outlay of more than US$ 62.4 million. In particular, Lafarge has declared its intention of building a wallboard plant on the current site of Nida Gips at Gacki, in central Poland. With the aim of satisfying the very rapid expansion of the Polish market – the most dynamic market in Europe for the last five years – as well as the growing needs in other Central and Eastern European markets, Lafarge plans to raise the production capacity of the unit ultimately to 44 million m2.

The operation will be concluded once all necessary administrative approvals have been granted.

The Gypsum Division is one of the five Divisions of the Lafarge Group. Its sales in 1998 totaled FRF 4.4 billion (670 million euros). The Gypsum Division already occupies top-ranking positions world-wide, and this announcement follows its recent developments in China, Canada, South Korea, the United States and Australia.

World leader in construction materials, the Lafarge Group employs 66,000 people in over 65 countries worldwide and has sales of FRF 64.3 billion (nearly 10 million euros). The Group is already established in Poland through its four other Divisions: Cement (plants in Kujawy, Wierzbica and Malogoszcz), Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing (production of concrete roof tiles in Opole and Plonsk) and Specialty Products (lime in Kujawy).

The capital of the Atlas Group is wholly Polish owned. For four years, the Group has been the leader on Poland's construction materials market. It ranks among the ten leading European manufacturers of cement mortars, and employs 1,100 people in five plants and two quarries. Its sales in 1998 totaled PLN 448 million, with a forecast of PLN 550 million for 1999.

The Atlas Group currently offers its customers more than fifty products for construction and restoration. A specialist in tile adhesives, it also manufactures mortars, coatings, floor screeds, external wall insulation systems and plaster renderings.

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