Local History


How does a family business grow into a world leader in just one century? Discover the turning points that marked the Group's expansion


Lafarge began operations in 1833 when Auguste Pavin de Lafarge set up a lime operation in France. Through numerous acquisitions of lime and cement companies throughout the country, Lafarge became France's largest cement producer by the late 1930s.


The company first expanded internationally in 1864 with the supply of lime for construction of the Suez Canal. International expansion continued in the early twentieth century when operations began in North Africa, UK, Brazil and Canada.


Through the 1981 acquisition of General Portland Inc., Lafarge became one of the largest cement manufacturers in North America. Lafarge further expanded internationally through the purchase of Blue Circle Industries in 2001 and took on acquisitions around the Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Lafarge is the joint leader in the worldwide cement industry, with production facilities in 51 countries.


The aggregates and concrete business, now operating in 29 countries, made a significant leap in 1997 with the acquisition of Redland plc, one of the principal manufacturers of aggregates and concrete worldwide at the time.


Lafarge first entered the market for gypsum products in 1931 and is now the world's third largest wallboard producer, with operations in 28 countries.


In February 2007, the company sold its Roofing Division, which came on board with Redland plc

Lafarge’s history at a glance


Beginning of operations in France



Lafarge delivers 110,000 tonnes of lime for the construction of the Suez Canal



Lafarge enters in gypsum



Lafarge builds its first cement plant in Richmond, Canada



Acquisition of General Portland Inc



Lafarge enters the Chinese market through the creation of a joint venture in cement



Acquisition of Redland plc



Acquisition of Blue Circle Industries plc



Sale of Lafarge's Roofing Division



Acquisition of Orascom Cement