Lafarge North America Inc. (NYSE & TSE: LAF), a subsidiary of Lafarge, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Lafarge Florida Inc. to Florida Rock Industries, Inc. The sales price is approximately $122 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, 2003.
Lafarge Florida Inc. is a profitable business that has performed well for many years. However, as a stand-alone import operation, its long-term strategic fit in Lafarge overall portfolio is limited. The operations of Lafarge Florida Inc. consist primarily of two cement grinding and import facilities, one located in Tampa and the other in Port Manatee, Florida. Net sales in 2002 associated with these operations were approximately $89 million.
This transaction announced today by Lafarge North America contributes to the €400 to €600 million asset disposal programme of Lafarge Group for 2003.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, and employs 77,000 people in 75 countries. The Group holds top-ranking positions in all four of its Divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge posted sales of €14.6 billion in 2002.
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include forward-looking statements in this press release regarding achievement of our net debt reduction target, capital expenditure target, our plans for divestitures, our expected operating income and our expected pension costs. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Factors") which are difficult to predict. Some of the Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the cyclical nature of the Company's business; national and regional economic conditions in the countries in which the Group does business; currency fluctuations; seasonal nature of the Company's operations; levels of construction spending in major markets; supply/demand structure of the industry; competition from new or existing competitors; unfavorable weather conditions during peak construction periods; changes in and implementation of environmental and other governmental regulations; our ability to successfully identify, complete and efficiently integrate acquisitions; our ability to successfully penetrate new markets; and other Factors disclosed in the Company's Reference Document COB number D03-0375 and on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA. In general, the Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties of the construction industry and of doing business throughout the world. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.