Coco Paving Enters into Agreement with Lafarge to Acquire Asphalt and Paving Operations



    - BMO Underwrites First Major Financing Deal since Liquidity Crisis -

    TORONTO, May 7 /CNW/ - Coco Paving Inc., a leader in the heavy road
construction business, today confirmed its acquisition of the Ontario and
Quebec asphalt and paving construction operations of Lafarge Eastern Canada.
    Upon completion of the deal, Coco Paving will grow to 40 locations and
add over 1,000 new employees to its base of 200 in Windsor, Ontario. The
acquisition includes 31 asphalt plants in Ontario, 2 in Quebec and additional
regional offices. Financing for the deal was underwritten by the Bank of
Montreal and the transaction is expected to close the first week of June.
    "Coco Paving is poised for growth and could not pass up the opportunity
to become a much bigger player in the paving industry," said Jenny Coco, CEO
of Coco Paving. "While a lot of companies are retrenching, we're positioning
our company within Ontario to take full advantage of unprecedented
infrastructure developments."
    "The plants we will acquire will give us a much stronger position from
which to compete for more municipal contracts in the GTA and in Eastern
Ontario as far as Ottawa, not to mention our power base of South Western
Ontario."
    The acquisition will make Coco Paving the largest asphalt producer and
road paving contractor in Ontario. In terms of size of business, Coco Paving
has traditionally focused on a small number of large-scale projects. Its
current largest project is a $94.7 million contract with the Ministry of
Transportation for road construction on Highway 401 in the Windsor area.
    "It's a good news story, which is a fresh change from the doom and gloom
of the business pages these days. This is a win-win situation for Coco and
Lafarge because no jobs are being lost in the deal," added Rocky Coco,
President of Coco Paving.
    While Coco Paving's regional business operations will remain in Windsor,
the company's new head office will be located in Toronto to make the
integration as smooth as possible and to build for the future.
    "We are opening an office in Toronto in order to be closer to our
customers, suppliers and partners," said Jenny Coco. "No jobs in Windsor will
be affected by this decision. In fact, this transaction strengthens our
already vibrant business in Windsor."

    
    About Lafarge
    -------------
    

    The Lafarge Group is the world leader in building materials, with
top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete
and Gypsum. Lafarge is active in 76 countries and employs 90,000 people.
Lafarge North America Inc. ("Lafarge North America" or "Lafarge"), a Lafarge
Group company, is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials
in the United States and Canada.
    For more information about Lafarge North America Inc., please visit
www.lafarge-na.com

    
    About Coco Paving
    -----------------
    

    Since 1964 Coco Paving has been constructing concrete curbs and roads in
Windsor and Essex County. The company is privately owned and operated by the
Coco family, its founders William and Nina Coco together with their children
Rock Anthony Coco, P. Eng., serving as President and Jenny Coco, MBA, as the
CEO.
    To complement Coco Paving's success in infrastructure servicing they own
and operate a concrete pipe manufacturing facility and dock facility for the
importing of aggregate materials. In addition, the family has become
recognized as a leading development company specializing in "big-box"
commercial shopping centres, as well as residential development in Windsor and
Essex County.
    For more information about Coco Paving, go to www.cocopaving.com.
    For information on the Coco Group of Companies and the acquisition, go to
www.cocogroup.com.




For further information:

For further information: Coco Paving press contact: Andrew Findlater,
findlater@veritascanada.com, (647) 205-4744; Lafarge press contact: Stephanie
Lincourt, stephanie.lincourt@lafarge.com, 011+33 (0)1 44 34 19 47

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