CRH wins race for Lafarge and Holcim assets, paying €6.5bn

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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CRH supplied 52,000 cubic metres of concrete to the Sky Tower in Wroclaw, Poland (Source: CRH)

Irish building supplies company CRH has announced a €6.5bn (£4.9bn) deal to buy the assets that Lafarge and Holcim were obliged to sell before they merged.

Lafarge and Holcim will gain €5bn (£3.75bn) in cash after debts of €1.3bn are paid, according to Bruno Lafont, Lafarge’s chief executive.

CRH beat a consortium headed by Blackstone, which offered €5.5bn.

Quoting a person familiar with the process, Reuters said CRH was ideally placed to offer this higher price as it could integrate the assets into its existing operations.

The resulting company will be the world's biggest cement maker, with an estimated $44bn (£29.2bn) in annual sales.

CRH, the leading supplier of asphalt for new highways in the United States, will pay for the new assets using a combination of cash, new debt and a 9.99 per cent equity placing

Lafarge and Holcim, both building materials companies, announced their plans for a merger last year. Their deal is aimed at cutting costs and dealing with weak demand. Albert Manifold, CRH chief executive, said:

This transaction represents a significant value creation opportunity for CRH. We are acquiring a quality portfolio of assets, which complement our existing positions, at an attractive valuation and at the right point of the cycle.

The acquisition strengthens our presence in important markets across North America, Western, Central and Eastern Europe as well as providing new platforms for growth in emerging markets.

The assets will integrate well into existing CRH networks benefiting from our strong business-building capabilities while providing an important platform for future development opportunities.

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