UPDATE 1-More than 100 expressions of interest in Holcim, Lafarge assets
* Holcim says interest in assets has doubled in past 2 weeks
* To start discussions with potential bidders in August
* Several parties express interest in buying all assets
* Merger with Lafarge "on track" (Adds details from CEO)
By Caroline Copley and Leila Abboud
ZURICH/PARIS July 21 (Reuters) - Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge have received more than 100 expressions of interest in assets they must sell ahead of their planned merger, the Swiss company's chief executive said on Monday.
The two companies proposed a multi-billion euro series of asset sales two weeks ago in their efforts to get regulatory approval for the planned merger, unveiled in April, which would create a combined group with $44 billion in annual sales.
Holcim Chief Executive Bernard Fontana told journalists at a briefing in Zurich on Monday that the companies had received more than 100 expressions of interest, including from private equity funds and other cement makers, with several parties indicating a desire to buy the entire portfolio of assets.
This is up from the 50 notifications of interest they had received when they published the list of disposals on July 7. Continuación...