LafargeHolcim’s 73 pct stake won’t be diluted by Nigerian unit’s capital hike

Future CEO Eric Olsen of the new merged entity LafargeHolcim smiles during a news conference in Zurich April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH May 10  – Cement group LafargeHolcim will take part in a capital increase by Nigeria-based Lafarge Africa to avoid diluting its nearly 73 percent stake, it said on Wednesday.

Lafarge Africa said this week it wants to raise 140 billion naira ($460 million) in fresh equity and convert some loans into shares as part of a planned rights issue after it reported losses last year.

A company spokesman in Switzerland said the parent’s stake was around 72.6 percent, adding “we do not expect to be diluted”.

The process will be launched once shareholders have approved the transaction at the annual meeting in June and is expected to be finalised by October at the latest, he added.

The move aimed to reduce dollar-denominated debt exposure and simplify the ownership structure in Nigeria.