UK authorities to look at Lafarge bid for Redland
Friday 28 November 1997
John Battle yesterday raised concerns about Lafarge's dominance in the ready mix concrete market in the wake of its agreed pounds 1.8bn takeover bid for Redland. Mr Battle has requested that the European Commission allow the UK competition authorities to scrutinise the bid, following a recommendation from the Director General of Fair Trading.
The move came just hours before Lafarge confirmed it had won control of Redland by increasing its stake in the group to more than 50 per cent from just under 30 per cent.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is understood to be concerned about Lafarge's monopoly over the ready mix concrete business in Norwich and Leicester.
Lafarge already has a large presence in the area, having acquired Enemix, a local quarry group, last year in its first move into the UK market. With Redland it will have a stranglehold over part of the Midlands ready mix concrete market.
Analysts believe that Lafarge may be forced to dispose of all or part of the Ennemix business. However Lafarge yesterday insisted that Mr Battle's decision would not scupper its takeover bid. A Lafarge executive said the request was the "usual procedure and raises no difficulties for the public offer for Redland".
The Lafarge bid could lead to temporary overlaps in one or two places in certain markets following the Redland acquisition but Lafarge was ready to talk to Britain's Office of Fair Trading, he added.
One source said that Lafarge was understood to be willing to dispose of Ennemix in order to get the deal past the competition authorities.
Lafarge faces greater competition concerns in France. Post the deal it will control about 18 per cent of the French building materials market. It is also likely to have to restructure Redland's troubled French aggregates business which could lead to redundancies, a move that could lead to problems with the French authorities.
However analysts believe that the EU may just call for small-scale, local disposals.
Mr Battle's move mystified City observers. One analyst said: "I can't for the life of me see why he [Mr Battle] has done this. There are no real competition concerns. Lafarge have hardly anything in the UK."
Lafarge won control of Redland after upping its cash offer from 320p to 345p. The European Commission refused to comment on the bid yesterday.
Outlook, page 23
Newcastle manager taunted again as his side loses to Stoke
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...
£300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...