LAGOS, July 9 (Reuters) – Shareholders in Lafarge Wapco , the Nigerian unit of French cement maker Lafarge , on Wednesday approved a $1.35 billion deal combining its Nigerian businesses with Lafarge’s wholly-owned South African subsidiary.

Olusegun Osunkeye, chairman of Lafarge Wapco told shareholders at a meeting the Nigerian cement firm would pay the Lafarge group $200 million in cash and 1.4 billion in new shares to buy Lafarge’s South African unit and other of its Nigerian businesses in order to combine them.

After the merger, the new combined entity will be renamed Lafarge Africa Plc and listed on the Nigerian bourse with a market capitalisation of around $3 billion. Lafarge group will own 73 percent of the combined entity.

Lafarge Wapco also won shareholder approval to raise 100 billion naira in debt or equity on domestic or international capital markets.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year. It now needs regulatory approval.

Also shareholders on Wednesday approved an increase in dividend payment to 3.30 naira per share for the 2013 financial year, up from 1.20 naira paid in 2012.

 

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