Unsurprisingly October concluded with an influx of activity within the industry as many companies continue to make efforts to conclude their business before heading into 2016. Although we covered developments on our social media pages, we thought it appropriate to give a monthly summary with our thoughts and analysis.

Perhaps the most significant stories to emerge over the month were the developments of LafargeHolcim. Firstly, it was reported that LafargeHolcim successfully completed the squeeze-out of Lafarge S.A, with the shares of Lafarage S.A now being delisted. The remaining shareholders of Lafarge S.A were offered a cash reimbursement, or an amount of the newly issued LarfargeHolcim shares. The news marks an important step in the merger process of the Group’s companies.

Only a few weeks earlier Lafarge Nigeria completed a 100% acquisition of Nigeria’s third-largest cement manufacturer; United Cement Company of Nigeria. Although the sale price has not been publicly disclosed, the company announced that its affiliate Nigerian Cement Holdings owned a 70% stake in United Cement before reaching a deal to acquire the remaining 30%. United Cement’s Cross Rivers plant is currently undergoing expansion to 5 million tonnes.

However, the most significant story to emerge from LafargeHolcim, was the news that Philips Group’s chief financial officer, Ron Wirahadiraksa is to succeed Thomas Aebischer. Wirahadiraksa joined Philips in 1987, becoming CFO in 2011, and will join LafargeHolcim in December.

ASEC Cement also announced that they are planning to sell their stakes in ASEC Minya and ASEC Ready Mix to Misr Qena Cement for a fee of $125m. The stakes are 46.5% and 55% respectively, with the deal being expected to be completed around the 20th November.

Earlier in the month, JK Lakshmi Cement announced plans to build a 1.5Mt/year grinding plant in Bihar. The firm received approval to build the plan with a 1000m3 / day 10MW diesel generator set, for a cost of around $46.3m. Bihar’s Environment Ministry stated that the deal was reliant upon JK Lakshmi Cement developing a green belt in 33% of the area in and around the plant.

The supply crisis in Argentina developed further, with suppliers having to import swathes of 50kg sacks from Chile just to meet demand. In contrast, production in Poland has continued to grow, increasing 1.3% year-on-year to reach 1.58 million tonnes in September.

October also proved a notable month for Chad Harrison International, as we published our first Quarterly Market Insight Report. The team put a great deal of hard work into the release, so it was refreshing to see the report so positively received, with features on publications such as mining.com, Engineering News and World Cement.

For more updates on the building materials, cement, aggregate, and industrial minerals industries we regularly update our social media channels with the latest industry news.