Lafarge announces today the terms of its €1.5 billion rights issue. This rights issue constitutes one of the key steps of the €4.5 billion package of assertive measures announced by the Group on February 20, 2009, which will reduce its debt, strengthen its financial structure and place Lafarge in a strong position for the economic recovery.
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and NNS Holding Sàrl, our two major shareholders, have each committed to subscribe their pro rata shares of the rights issue, representing approximately €0.5 billion. The remainder of the rights issue is underwritten by a syndicate of banks.
Bruno Lafont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge, said:
"The rights issue of €1.5 billion that we are launching today is part of the €4.5 billion platform of measures that we announced on February 20, 2009. This rights issue complements the ongoing operational efforts being made by the Group.
I thank our shareholders who have demonstrated, by their support at the Extraordinary General Meeting on March 31 2009, their confidence in the Group.
In the unprecedented financial and economic context we are currently experiencing, Lafarge reinforces its financial structure by reducing its debt, bolstering our sector leadership and positioning the Group to benefit from the recovery."
Information available to the public
The French prospectus, approved by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (the "AMF", the French Securities Regulator), is available free of charge on the Lafarge website (www.lafarge.com) and on the AMF website (www.amf-france.org), or upon request from Lafarge or a group of banks.
The prospectus, approved by the AMF on March 31, 2009 under n° 09-070, consists of the 2008 Lafarge Annual Report ("Document de référence" filed with the AMF on March 16, 2009 under n° D.09-0122 and incorporated by reference) and a "note d'opération" that includes a summary of the prospectus.
Lafarge draws the attention of investors to the risk factors in the prospectus approved by the AMF.
Notes to editors
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 84,000 employees in 79 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 19.0 billion in 2008.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, Lafarge was listed in the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.
This press release and the information it contains do not constitute an offer to sell or subscribe or a solicitation of an order to buy or subscribe for securities in any country.
The distribution of this press release may be restricted by applicable laws and regulations. Persons who are physically located in those jurisdictions and in which this press release is circulated, published or distributed must inform themselves about and observe such restrictions.
The securities mentioned in this press release have not been and will not be registered under the United States. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent such registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act. Lafarge does not intend to register any portion of the planned offering in the United States or to conduct a public offering of securities in the United States. More comprehensive information about Lafarge may be obtained on its Internet website (www.lafarge.com), under Regulated Information.
Not for distribution in Canada, Australia and Japan.