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Lafarge Sells Roofing Business for $3.16 billon

French cement giant Lafarge said Monday it will sell its roofing business to private equity firm PAI Partners for $3.16 billion.

The sale is expected to have a positive impact on Lafarge's 2007 earnings per share, Lafarge said, adding that it will maintain a 35 percent stake in the business.

The sale, subject to regulatory approval, is "the best solution for the group, its shareholders, for the industrial future and the development of the roofing activity," the company said.

The $3.16 billion (2.4 billion euros) price tag represents nine times the business' estimated 2006 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. This includes $2.6 billion in cash for the purchase of shares and $554 million of debt and pension liabilities.

Lafarge had said in June that it was considering selling the business and there was little reaction to its share price in Paris with the stock down about 0.2%

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