Big news for the American drywall market this summer: Lafarge SA has agreed to sell its North American Gypsum business with an enterprise value of $700 million to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, as reported in a story by Simon Thiel of the Bloomberg News.

The business, which manufactures drywall and joint compounds in plants in the U.S. and Canada, had 2012 sales of $310 million, the Paris-based company said via an email statement in late June.

The deal is predicted to close “very soon” and will help Lafarge to focus on the cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete businesses, the company said.

The company’s CEO Bruno Lafont is selling assets to repair a credit rating that has fallen below investment grade. The company is also cutting jobs and procurement costs, as well as pushing sales of higher-margin services and products to counter a construction slump in Europe and political turmoil in the Middle East.

As this story develops, Walls & Ceilings will report on how this change to Lone Star will impact Lafarge’s customers’ stateside.