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February 8, 2006

Lafarge goes after outstanding shares

PARIS

Lafarge SA, the world’s largest cement maker, intends to offer $3 billion US for the 47 per cent of its North American subsidiary that it does not currently own.

The construction materials producer said it will pay $75 US for each Lafarge North America share, which is a 17 per cent premium over its closing price last Friday.

“This transaction makes strategic sense for Lafarge, because it will enable us to pursue business and growth opportunities in North America more effectively,” CEO Bruno Lafont said.

Lafont said the buyout, funded through debt, will have an immediately positive impact on earnings per share.

Completion of the offer, to be launched within two weeks, is conditional on Lafarge winning 90 per cent of outstanding shares in the North American unit.

North American sales accounted for 27 per cent of Lafarge’s revenue and 20 per cent of its operating profit in 2004.

The group is to report results for 2005 on Feb. 23.

Associated Press

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