The Lafarge Zambia Plc. (“Lafarge” or “The Company”) Board wishes to inform its shareholders and the market that on 30th of March 2021 the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC” or “Commission”) informed the Company that it had concluded that Lafarge contravened the Competition and Consumer Protection Act. On 31st March 2021 the CCPC issued a press release in relation to its decision of 30th March 2021 which was followed by a press release issued by the Company.
In the said statement the Commission gave the following directives in relation to the Company:
i) Lafarge shall be fined 10% of its annual turnover for the year 2019 and 10% of its annual turnover for the year 2020;
ii) The Company shall revert to alleged pre-cartel prices of USD 4.50 – USD 5 for a period of one year from the date of receipt of the decision of the Board;
iii) The Company shall submit monthly average ex-works prices and any price adjustments be indexed to the exchange rate and be submitted to the Commission for review;
iv) The Company shall develop and implement compliance programme within 90 days of receiving the Board directive; and
v) Lafarge shall make undertakings within 90 days of receiving the directive, that their staff shall not engage in any anti-competitive behavior and the Company shall not facilitate and/or participate in any anti-competitive conduct including the exchange of information.
Since the initiation of the Commission’s investigation in January 2020, Lafarge has consistently denied the Commission’s allegations of its engagement in restrictive business practices in the cement sector. Although Lafarge is yet to receive and consider the full decision of the Commission Board, it remains steadfast in its position.
Furthermore, the Board wishes to inform the shareholders and the market that Lafarge has cooperated with the Commission throughout its investigation by providing numerous detailed submissions, documents, and testimony. While Lafarge will continue to cooperate with the Commission, it intends to exercise its rights to appeal the Commission’s decision.
Given the circumstances under which the Commission Board’s decision was communicated to Lafarge and the limited information available to it, the Company is in no position to provide further commentary at this stage. However, Lafarge shall provide updates as new information becomes available to it.
Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing with the Company’s shares until a full announcement is made.
By Order of the Board
Chibuye Mbesuma Ngulube
Issued in Lusaka, Zambia on 1st April 2021