Switzerland-based Holcim Ltd. and France's Lafarge SA have received clearances in the United States and Canada for a proposed merger. The approval, announced May 4, represents another step forward in the deal and requires that the companies complete several Federal Trade Commission-specified divestments. According to an FTC press release:

[the merger] would have harmed competition in 12 markets for portland cement, an essential ingredient in making concrete, and in two additional markets for slag cement, a specialty cement used for making more durable concrete structures.

The release notes that Lafarge will divest a cement plant, quarry and several distribution terminals to Continental Cement Company. Holcim will divest plants and terminals to Eagle Materials Inc., Essroc Cement Corporation, Buzzi Unicem USA, and other buyers which will have to be approved by the FTC.

According to a press release on the Lafarge website:

All competition approvals necessary for closing the transaction have now been obtained ahead of the expected closing in July 2015.