Switzerland's Holcim (HCMLF) is making an all-share offer for Lafarge (LFRGY) of France. The combined group will take the top spot globally in the markets for cement, concrete and aggregates, such as sand, gravel and crushed stone.
The two companies currently account for sales of 32 billion euros, and their combined market value is about 40 billion euros ($50 billion).
Switzerland's Holcim and France's Lafarge have agreed to a deal that would create the world's biggest construction materials group.
The deal, which the companies aim to close in the first half of 2015, is expected to face tough regulatory scrutiny given LafargeHolcim's potential to dominate in several major markets.
Both companies, along with six competitors, are already subject to an antitrust investigation by the European Commission dating back to 2008. Europe's competition watchdog confirmed last month that the probe was continuing.
Holcim and Lafarge said in a statement that they plan to sell businesses generating as much as 15% of operating profit in order to clear the way for approval and optimize their combined portfolio.
[Read Full Article: $50 billion merger deal stirs global cement industry]