Lafarge Shareholders' Meeting: Orascom Cement Deal approved by very large majority

18 January 2008

The Combined Shareholders' Meeting of Lafarge, convened in the context of Lafarge's acquisition of Orascom Cement, was held in Paris on January 18 2008, chaired by Bruno Lafont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge.

At the Meeting, Lafarge shareholders voted by a 99% majority in favour of a capital increase of 22.5 million shares reserved for the founding shareholders of Orascom Construction Industries, at a subscription price of 125 euros per share, which represents a 16% premium compared to the last share price preceding the announcement of the operation on December 10.

This capital increase will provide 2.8 billion euros of financing for the Orascom Cement acquisition, the remaining 6 billion euros being financed by debt.

The acquisition of Orascom Cement should be finalized at the end of the first quarter of 2008.

Shareholders also approved the appointment to Lafarge's Board of Directors of Paul Desmarais Jr and Thierry de Rudder, representatives of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and of Nassef Sawiris, a representative of the founding shareholders of Orascom Construction Industries.


Biographies of new Board members

Paul Desmarais, Jr.
Born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1954, Paul Desmarais, Jr. studied at McGill University where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He then graduated from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France, with a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA). He is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada (PCC) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Power Financial Corporation (PFC). Prior to joining PCC in 1981, he was with S.G. Warburg & Co. in London, England, and with Standard Brands Incorporated in New York. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of PFC from 1986 to 1989, and was Chairman from 1990 to 2005. He was named to his present position with PCC in 1996. He is a Director and member of the Executive Committee of many Power group companies in North America including Great-West Lifeco and its major subsidiaries, and IGM Financial and its major subsidiaries. He is also Executive Director and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Pargesa Holding S.A. (Switzerland), Vice-Chairman of the Board of Imerys (France), and a Director of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (Belgium), Total S.A. and Suez (France). Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas, Founder and Chairman of the International Advisory Committee of l'École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) and Founder and Member of the International Advisory Board of the McGill University Faculty of Management. He is a member of the International Council and a Director of the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) and Global Advisor for Merrill Lynch (New York). He is also a member of the North American Competitiveness Council (Canada).

Thierry de Rudder
Born in Paris on September 3, 1949, Thierry de Rudder has Franco-Belgian dual nationality. Thierry de Rudder is a graduate in mathematics from the University of Geneva and the Université Libre de Bruxelles and has an MBA from the Wharton School in Philadelphia. He began his career in the United States, joining Citibank in 1975 where he held various positions in New York and then in Europe. In 1986, he joined Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, of which he is Executive Director. He is also a director of Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille in Belgium and of Imerys, Suez and Total in France.

Mr Nassef Sawiris is the major shareholder and Chief Executive Officer of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). An Egyptian Citizen, Mr Sawiris received his secondary education in the German International School in Cairo. He later attended the University of Chicago and earned a degree in Economics. Mr. Sawiris joined the Orascom group in 1992 and became the Chief Executive Officer of OCI in 1998 ahead of an initial public offering which was successfully completed in the second quarter of 1999. Mr. Sawiris has led the company in devising the company's investment strategies and execution in the fields of cement, natural gas industries and the significant geographic expansion of the construction group. Through investments in complementary businesses, he has grown the family business into an international corporation with a market capitalization of approximately $20 billion.


Notes to editors

Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 71,000 employees in over 70 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 17 billion and net income of Euros 1.4 billion in 2006.

Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2007 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Didn't find what you were looking for?

If you are interested in content published before 2011, please contact the Corporate Communications team at LafargeHolcim.