Lafarge makes a new investment in South Korea

15 July 1999

LAFARGE has signed an agreement on the principle to acquiring an initial stake of 33.3% in the capital of RH Cement Corporation (formerly Halla Cement Manufacturing Corp.), for a price of US$ 100 million. The company has chosen Lafarge as a strategic partner. The partnership will aid with the restructuring of RH Cement, which is expected to face indebtedness at the end of 1999 of US$ 200 million.

South Korea's fourth largest cement producer, RH Cement Corporation supplies roughly 11% of the domestic market. The company operates a cement plant using very modern technology with annual capacity of 7.4 million tonnes. It is situated at Okke, in the northeast of the country, close to the Sea of Japan, a location which is strategically beneficial for supplying markets on the Korean coast. In a context of economic growth of around 5%, the South Korean cement market has high potential, particularly in view of substantial infrastructure needs to be satisfied.

This investment in RH Cement Corporation forms part of Lafarge's development strategy in Asia. After earlier moves into China and Indonesia, the Group made substantial acquisitions in 1998 in the Philippines and India. Its total cement capacity in the region will now exceed 15 million tonnes.

Following the acquisition of plants in Dongbu and Buksan in October 1998, Lafarge is also active in South Korea in the gypsum wallboard sector.

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

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