Lagos - Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc on Saturday said the consolidation of its Nigeria and South Africa businesses would create more jobs for Nigerians and enhance return on investment.
The company's Head, Corporate Affairs, Mr Ademola Ojowolo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Lafarge Africa's consolidation of share holding was not aimed at jobs reduction.
NAN reports that Lafarge had on June 3 announced plans to combine its Nigeria and South Africa businesses to create Lafarge Africa to become a leading sub-Sahara Africa building materials platform.
Ojowolo said the transaction would also create more opportunities for employees and communities in the various countries through expansion of projects.
He said the company would be renamed Lafarge Africa at the end of the transaction and would remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In his comment, the Chairman of Lafarge WAPCO, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, said he was proud to be part of the creation of the leading African building materials platform.
Osunkeye said that the exercise would provide access to growth in two of the largest economies on the continent.
"It will mean that our shareholders are investing in a larger and more geographically diverse business and it will contribute significantly to the economic growth of both nations," Osunkeye said.
Also, Mr Guillaume Roux, Lafarge Country Chief Executive Officer Nigeria, described the consolidation as a key milestone that would create value for shareholders.
Roux said that the decision would enable the company to be more innovative, increase and improve its product portfolio.
He said, "Our objective is to bring more housing and ever better solutions to contribute to building better cities that are more beautiful, more compact, more connected and more durable."
NAN reports that under the proposed terms, Lafarge Group would transfer its direct and indirect share holdings in Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
The transaction will be concluded through a cash consideration of 200 million dollars (over N32 billion) and the issuance of 1.4 million Lafarge Africa shares to Lafarge Group.
NAN reports that the transaction will be completed during the second half of 2014.
Lafarge Group also announced its intention to transfer all its shares and businesses in Nigeria and South Africa into Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc.
The new entity, according to the company, will have nationwide coverage in both Nigeria and South Africa with cement capacity of about 12 million tonnes and operations in aggregates, ready-mix and fly ash. (NAN)