Blue Circle, the UK cement manufacturer, will see job losses and parts of its operations sold off, following a take over by French building materials group Lafarge in a deal worth £4.5bn.
Lafarge has said it will make cuts in the workforce where there is duplication between the two companies’ operations. These are expected to be at Blue Circle’s corporate headquarters in London, where about 100 people are employed, the UK company’s technical centre at Greenhithe, Kent, and Lafarge’s research site in L’Isle d’Abeau in France.
Blue Circle’s chief executive, Rick Haythornthwaite is recommending the buy-out to shareholders.
Lafarge also plans £950m worth of disposals from its own and Blue Circle’s operations. Canadian competition authorities are insisting on the disposals before approving the takeover, as there is a concentration of Blue Circle and Lafarge sites in the Ontario area. The Blue Circle assets are thought to be the most likely to be sold off.
Lafarge is planning to make annual cost savings of £63m from the merger of the two businesses within two years of completion.