Lafarge and Holcim, already two of the largest cement producers in the world, will merge to create LafargeHolcim, both companies said April 7.

They called the deal "a merger of equals, creating the most advanced group in the building materials industry." The combined company will have a presence in 90 countries throughout the world. The deal is expected be finalized in the first half of 2015.

“This proposed merger is a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver substantially better value to customers with more innovation, a wider range of products and solutions and more sustainability and enhanced returns to shareholders," said Rolf Soiron, current chairman of Holcim. “LafargeHolcim will be uniquely positioned to take advantage of growth in developed markets and the world’s fastest growing economies by supplying the materials that will enable the construction industry to meet the challenges of the future."

"By combining Holcim’s experienced teams, complementary geographies and innovative expertise with ours, we propose to set up the most advanced group in the construction industry, for the benefit of our clients, our employees and our shareholders.," said Lafarge Chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont. "The merger of Lafarge and Holcim will allow the group with strong roots in Europe to enter into a new dimension in our ambition to contribute to building better cities on a global scale and in a sustainable manner.”

The 2013 TCP Survey listed Lafarge as the fourth largest producer in the U.S.; Holcim was number 6. Both have large concrete-producing operations in the U.S. Larfarge's U.S. headquarters is in Chicago; Holcim's is in Waltham, Mass.