On 10 December 2007 we announced that an agreement has been signed with Lafarge SA for the divestment of our cement group for a total payment of EUR 8.8 billion ($12.9 billion) plus the assumption by Lafarge of $2 billion in debt.
The cement group included all cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete and cement bags manufacturing operations. It owned and operated cement plants in Egypt, Algeria, northern Iraq, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Spain with a combined annual gross production capacity approaching 35 million tonnes. New investments in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, DPRK and South Africa would have increased the annual gross cement production capacity to 45 million tonnes by 2010.
On the 23 January 2008 we confirmed that the share transfer of 100% of Orascom Building Materials Holding, the holding company for our cement group assets, to Lafarge was executed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.