Saturday 1 October 2016

CRH's €6.5bn deal edges closer after Swiss vote

Published 09/05/2015 | 02:30

Holcim chairman Wolfgang Reitzle speaks to shareholders during their extraordinary shareholder meeting in Zurich yesterday
Holcim chairman Wolfgang Reitzle speaks to shareholders during their extraordinary shareholder meeting in Zurich yesterday

CRH has moved closer to a €6.5bn acquisition after shareholders in Holcim backed a capital increase in a vote yesterday, paving the way for the Swiss cement-maker's planned €35.7bn merger with France's Lafarge.

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CRH has agreed a deal to sweep up €6.5bn of corporate assets that the pair will have to sell in order for the mega-merger to go ahead. Yesterday, more than 93pc of shareholders at Holcim's extraordinary general meeting voted to approve a capital increase to fund the Lafarge tie-up, well clear of the required two-thirds majority.

Securing shareholder backing was one of the last major hurdles for the merger, which was first announced in April last year and had come close to collapse.

French giant Lafarge held its annual general meeting earlier in the week.

CRH is planning to buy assets the two rivals are offloading as part of a deal with competition tsars to ensure the transaction is approved.

The assets that will bought by Dublin-headquartered CRH are in Europe, Canada, Brazil and the Philippines.

CRH - Ireland's biggest company - will be propelled from being the world's fifth largest building materials company to being the third largest, just slightly behind French group Saint Gobain.

At CRH's own annual general meeting on Thursday, investors voted to give their approval to its planned acquisition. CRH chief executive Albert Manifold said the Irish company is already looking at two more big takeover opportunities.

Irish Independent

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