Monday 24 July 2017

CRH flees Dublin market for London

When writing in these pages on October 30 "what future, if any, does the Irish Stock Exchange now have?", even I couldn't have foreseen that within a fortnight, CRH, Ireland's largest industrial company, would announce that it was moving its primary listing to London.

The effective loss of CRH represents a further stage in the hollowing-out process that has been going on since at least the bursting of the property-driven banking bubble in the second quarter of 2007.

The news that CRH was switching its primary listing to London -- where its shares will be traded in sterling and the company hopes to be included in the benchmark FTSE-100 index -- came as the group revealed that EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) for the first nine months of the year would be similar to last year's €1.2bn and that full-year EBITDA would be about €1.6bn, also unchanged from last year.

The announcement had little impact on the CRH share price, which was broadly unchanged at just over €13, valuing the company at €9.4bn, which with forecast year-end debts of less than €3.5bn gives an enterprise value of less than €13bn.

If chief executive Myles Lee doesn't get the finger out and execute a major acquisition soon, he may find a predator does the job for him, no matter where his shares are traded.

Sunday Indo Business

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