Pending LafargeHolcim and Sika deals forge ahead despite SNB’s abandonment of Swiss Franc cap

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Updated Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:27:00 GMT

Switzerland: On 15 January 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoned the Euro1.20 cap on the Swiss Franc, causing market turmoil. However, deals involving domestic companies Holcim and Sika are expected to survive the impact of the shock decision.

Bigger deals are insulated against the effects of the sudden surge in the value of the Swiss currency because the companies involved are able to to buy insurance to protect them against such moves. However, some bankers said that the volatility introduced by the SNB decision to scrap the cap after three years could dampen deal-making in the longer term.

Holcim also said that it remained committed to a planned merger with France's Lafarge despite the move by the SNB that knocked almost Euro2.95bn (3bn Swiss Francs) off Holcim's market value.

"Regarding a possible impact on the combination with Lafarge, what we can say is that we remain committed to the merger," said Holcim spokesman Eike-Christian Meuter. According to Reuters, a spokesman for Lafarge said that it also remains committed to the merger.

Holcim was one of the companies caught up in a 10% all-in Swiss blue chip stocks on fears over the impact on their exporting power. Holcim slumped 20% at one point.