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Teachable moments, cautionary tales from FTC Lafarge, Holcim review file

Last month’s merger forming LafargeHolcim Ltd. expedited transfer of more than $1 billion in cement, concrete and aggregate production and distribution assets in the U.S. and Canada. The Federal Trade Commission justified a decision and order on the sale of those properties per Section 7 of the Clayton Act, a century-old law augmenting the Sherman Act of 1890. It prohibits mergers if “in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce in any section of the country, the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly,” FTC notes.

 

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A favorable mid-year outlook

As we compiled our annual Buyers’ Guide Issue, complete with new listings and references in admixture, fleet, plant equipment and other categories, one market indicator after another painted construction activity favoring investment in concrete production and delivery. Industry economists and market observers view the first half of 2015 positively, and confirm a moderate to upbeat outlook for at least the next three years.

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Cementing market concentration from the Hudson to the Mississippi

Deals in ready mixed concrete and cement production this past month assure 2015 watershed status on an industry timeline. A true market leader in ready mixed rose in metro New York and New Jersey, with commanding presence on both sides of the Hudson River, while an integrated player with strong growth ambitions became only the second U.S. operator set to pick up major cement production and distribution assets from a multinational peer.

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Regulators exact deep concessions in Lafarge, Holcim merger reviews

Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) have outlined consent agreements approving the scope or direction of Lafarge North America, Holcim (US) Inc. and Holcim (Canada) Inc. operations following the Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Ltd. merger. The mega-deal is set to close in July as an exchange offer commences this month: 10 Lafarge shares for nine Holcim shares, netting LafargeHolcim.

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