€2bn Lafarge unit on PE radar

Bids for the roofing division of Lafarge, a global cement group, are being considered by a dozen private equity firms as well as trade buyers, according to a French report.

Twelve private equity firms are reportedly considering bids of up to €2 billion ($2.5 billion) for the roofing division of Lafarge, a global cement group.

La Tribune, a French daily, said that private equity firms including Bain Capital, Cinven, The Carlyle Group, CVC Capital Partners, Doughty Hanson, Eurazeo, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, LBO France and PAI Partners have expressed interest, as well as Austrian building materials group Wienerberger.

Bruno Lafont, CEO, Lafarge

Lafarge announced earlier this year that it was considering the disposal of its roofing business. Bruno Lafont, CEO of Lafarge, said in June that “the divestment of our roofing business is under consideration, on the condition that we can obtain the full valuation of our assets and maintain a minority interest in this activity, while acting in the best interests of our shareholders”.

JPMorgan and Rothschild were appointed to advise on a possible sale at the end of June.

In its results for the first half of 2006, Lafarge said that sales for the roofing division were up seven percent to €726 million, while current operating income was up 54 percent to €37 million.

Private equity firms have already shown an interest in the sector this year. In April, ABN AMRO Capital France and Astorg Partners, a Paris-based mid-market firm, backed a €210 million management buyout of French roofing material company OFIC Group.