Moving forward with its merger plans, HeidelbergCement announced that it will restructure the Italian operations of Italcementi S.p.A, principally at its Bergamo, Italy, headquarters, affecting upward of 400 employees by the end of the transition period in 2020. The aim is twofold: preserving Italcementi's long-standing industrial tradition and history while streamlining some functions and activities.
Last year, HeidelbergCement entered into an agreement to acquire a 45 percent stake in Italcementi from Italmobiliare S.p.A., a holding company, which will own a significant stake in the new entity. The company expects the closing of the acquisition to be finalized in early July depending on the approval of the European Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Implementation of the integration plan will start after the closing.
The plan keeps the industrial network and plants in Italy as well as the Italcementi brand, consistent with the group’s policy to preserve the specific local identity of its subsidiaries. In addition, R&D capabilities will be strengthened: i.Lab Research & Innovation Centre, based in Bergamo, will become the home of the product R&D division of the whole group.
“The integration will combine two of the leading global industry players, which share a long-standing tradition of industrial culture, world-class innovation capabilities, and a strong leadership in their respective markets,” said Dr. Bernd Scheifele, HeidelbergCement’s chairman of the managing board. “Following our motto ‘all business is local,’ it is important for us to preserve Italcementi's strengths and professional expertise, which have ensured its success in Italy and abroad. I am convinced that we will be able to achieve the planned € 400 million in synergies and bring Italcementi back to profits by operational improvements, streamlining the administration and leveraging the increased size of our combined business.”
Additionally, in order to address potential competition concerns, HeidelbergCement decided to propose the divestment of Italcementi’s entire Belgian operations, primarily consisting of Italcementi’s Belgian subsidiary Compagnie des Ciments Belges S.A. (CCB). The proposed divestment would remove all overlaps between the activities of HeidelbergCement and Italcementi in Belgium and the Netherlands.