Hopefuls circle Lafarge roofing unit

At least 12 private equity buyers and one industrial company are mulling possible bids for the €2bn (US$2.57bn) roofing business of French construction material group Lafarge, daily La Tribune said, without citing sources.

The private equity bidders are reported to be Doughty Hanson, Candover, Advent, Carlyle, Cinven, PAI Partners, Eurazeo, KKR, LBO France, Bain Capital, Alliance Capital and CVC. So far, the only trade buyer said to be interested is Weinerberger of Austria.

Lafarge expects to retain a minority stake in the business, which the paper said had a value of about €2bn (US$2.57bn). Preliminary bids for a majority stake are due by September 6.

On June 22, Lafarge said it would explore opportunities to divest the roofing business, if valuation conditions were met and it could maintain a minority stake.

It said its turnaround plan for the business, aimed at achieving an Ebitda of €350m in 2008, was well under way and progressing rapidly.