Construction giant CRH sells US distribution arm for $2.63bn

Helen Cahill
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The firm said it can't envision becoming a market leader in the sector (Source: Getty)

Construction giant CRH has sold its US distribution arm to Beacon Roofing Supply for $2.63bn (£2.05bn).

The Irish firm has been in US distribution for 20 years, but said today that it is selling its distribution business because it cannot foresee becoming a market leader.

In addition, CRH said acquisition opportunities were thin on the ground in America.

Read more: Tarmac maker CRH shares jump on Trump's ambitious infrastructure plan

CRH will be using the sale to fund acquisitions and investments, and also announced today that it has snapped-up German firm Fels for €600m (£553m) from Xella International.

"With nine production locations in Germany and one each in the Czech Republic and in the Moscow region of Russia, Fels has leading market positions in the lime markets in each of these areas and over 1bn tonnes of high quality limestone reserves," CRH said.

"The integration of Fels with our existing lime businesses will give CRH a number two position in the attractive European lime market while providing a platform for further growth."

For the six months ended 30 June, CRH's sales revenue came to €13.0bn, up from €12.7bn the year before, a growth of two per cent.

Profit before tax jumped 27 per cent, up from €407m to €517m.

"The acquisition and divestment activity announced by the group today, demonstrates our ongoing strategic focus on allocating and reallocating capital at attractive multiples, while our significant balance sheet capacity ensures we are well positioned for further growth," said Albert Manifold, CRH's chief executive.

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