Lafarge purchases 100% of Pan African Cement Ltd jointly with Blue Circle Industries Plc

5 December 2000

Lafarge announces that subject to regulatory approvals, it has signed a joint agreement with Blue Circle Industries PLC (BCI) to purchase 100% of the equity of Pan African Cement Ltd. (PAC). PAC owns 50.1% of Chilanga Cement in Zambia, 75.2% of Portland Cement in Malawi and 58% of Mbeya Cement in Tanzania. This business is being purchased from CDC Capital Partners, formerly Commonwealth Development Corporation, who acquired these shareholdings as part of each respective government's privatization program.

Lafarge and BCI also intend to incorporate the 76% participation held by BCI in Circle Cement Zimbabwe, thus allowing the creation of a substantial regional network with a 1.3 million tonnes capacity.

The four countries have a combined cement consumption of 2.5 million tonnes, which has experienced a significant growth in the last 5 years and is forecasted to develop at an average of 4% over the next 5 years.

Bertrand Collomb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said "Lafarge has already a significant position in the Republic of South Africa. In a JV with BCI, Lafarge is also present in Kenya and Uganda. This purchase will strengthen our leading position in the 14 million tonnes market of Eastern and Southern Africa".

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