Last month, the world’s two largest cement makers, Larfarge and Holcim finalized a merger of both companies, thereby creating LafargeHolcim the largest firm in the “building materials industry.”
According to a statement from the company, LafargeHolcim has a unique business portfolio, is the industry benchmark in R&D and offers its customers the widest range of innovative and value-adding products, services and solutions.
In essence, The merger allows both companies to come out as one and aims to turn the cement business into a service. Combining the companies blends technological know-how into developing new, innovative products that will lead to greater profitability.
Coming on the heels of the LafargeHolcim merger, another announcement was made last month when HeidelbergCement announced their plans to acquire Italcementi
According to the company, this acquisition is an opportunity to accelerate the growth of HeidelbergCement. It will add a valuable portfolio of assets with a perfect geographical fit to the existing footprint of the Group. Italcementi operates assets across 22 countries with strong market positions in France, Italy, the United States and Canada.
Once again, this acquisition will combine the R&D capabilities of both companies. While Italcementi brings strong capabilities in process and product innovation, the company has also developed several high-performance and technologically advanced materials for new building models and innovative biodynamic cement.
The combination with Italcementi will create the global market leader in aggregates, the second largest producer of cement and the global number three in ready-mix concrete.
What does this mean for the concrete contractor? On initial glance, I wouldn't expect much—yet. Further down the road however, contractors may begin to see new and different concrete formulations developed out of the synergies of these companies. Additionally, the merging of these leading companies creates a globalization effect that in theory would create greater competition on a global scale and potentially higher quality products.
With the volume of cement usage on the rise, time will tell what effect, if any these mergers will have on the industry as a whole.