Canada: Ottawa's Competition Bureau has announced that it will look into the US$40bn merger between Lafarge and Holcim, both of which have extensive operations in Canada. Competition Bureau spokeswoman Mélanie Beauchesne reportedly confirmed the news.
In Canada the regulations require that the Competition Bureau must be given advanced notice of a merger if the Canadian assets generate more than US$82m in revenues and when the assets exceed US$400m. In a joint statement earlier in July 2014 Lafarge and Holcim announced plans to sell all of Holcim's assets in Canada to address potential competition regulations in order to merge their businesses.
Lafarge has operations in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Western Canada, while Holcim has plants mostly in Quebec and Ontario. Together, Holcim and Lafarge employ some 9000 people in Canada. The divestment of Holcim's Canadian assets will likely have no effect on industry operations, at least in the short term, according to Regan Watts, Lafarge Canada's spokesman.
"It's impossible to say what will happen exactly," said Colacem Canada's CFO, François Gervais. "We simply don't know what's going to happen. There are too many imponderables. But it's business as usual for us." Regarding Holcim's cement plant in Joliette, Quebec, he added, "Would the plant close? That would be very surprising. Will somebody buy it? Most likely. What will be the impact on the market? Well, who can say? I'm not clairvoyant."