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Mexico joint venture aligns Lafarge with world’s top wealth holder

Sources: Lafarge S.A., Paris; CP staff

Lafarge will boost its cement production stake south of the border in partnership with Elementia, a consortium whose holdings include concrete pipe and fiber cement siding businesses in Mexico, plus a cement mill under construction in the country’s central region. A joint venture will span a) Lafarge plants in Vito and Tula, with combined output near 1 million metric tons; and, b) the new mill, with which Elementia was chartering Cementos Fortaleza, whose capacity slightly exceeds the sister facilities’ total.

The transaction creating the new entity calls for a 47/53 ownership stake, respectively, between Lafarge and Elementia. A Reuters report on the joint venture profiles Elementia as a privately held business with two stakeholders: Grupo Carso, controlled by Carlos Slim, who with nearly $70 billion in net worth tops the Forbes 400 ranking of the world’s wealthiest individuals; and, Antonio del Valle, principal shareholder in plastic pipe maker Mexichem. Scheduled for a second quarter launch, the joint venture does not involve cash transfer but is subject to regulatory approval. It will be incorporated as a Lafarge equity affiliate.