Two of the world's largest cement companies, Zurich-based Holcim and Paris-based Lafarge, announced a merger today, creating an industry giant with a combined 32 billion euros ($44 billion) in annual revenues.

The new company, named LafargeHolcim, plans to offer a wider range of products and services to meet market demand and adapt to the challenges of increased urbanization, such as affordable housing, sprawl, and mass transportation. The two companies are already among the world’s leaders in supplying cement, crushed stone, sand, and gravel.

Holcim board member Wolfgang Reitzle would serve as the chairman of the LafargeHolcim board. Bruno Lafont, current chairman and CEO of Lafarge would become CEO and member of the new board.

LafargeHolcim would be based in Switzerland but operate production facilities in 90 countries, with no single country accounting for over 10 percent of revenue.

Still subject to approval by Holcim’s shareholders and regulatory authorization, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015.