By Inti Landauro
PARIS--French cement maker Lafarge SA (>> LAFARGE) and partner Anglo American PLC (>> Anglo American plc) agreed to sell a portfolio of assets to Mittal Investment, a holding company belonging to Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal and his family, for as much as 285 million pounds ($451.6 million), a move that will clear the path for the merger of the two companies' units in the U.K.
Lafarge announced last year a project to merge its U.K. unit with Anglo American's construction materials unit Tarmac into a single maker of cement, aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt and maintenance services. U.K. anti-trust regulator ordered the two companies to sell a series of assets to let the deal go forward.
Lafarge and Anglo American agreed to sell a cement plant in Hope, U.K., with a capacity of 1.4 million metric tons, a network of 172 ready mix concrete plants, five quarries, two asphalt plants and other assets, the companies said Friday in a joint statement.
Mittal Investment will pay GBP272 million for the assets, including as much as GBP30 million related to the performance of the assets over the next three years. Mittal would pay an additional GBP13 million related to working capital of the divested assets not transferring with the business.
The completion of the joint venture between Anglo American and Lafarge is expected to be completed early 2013, the statement said.
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