Building materials giant CRH spends €470m on 17 deals
Global building materials giant CRH spent about €470m in the first half of the year on acquisitions, significantly more than the €250m it spent in the first six months of 2012.
The Irish firm said it made 17 acquisitions between January and the end of June. Proceeds from divestments and disposals, as well as an asset swap, amounted to €185m.
CRH paid €178m for 12 acquisitions in North America, having bought firms in Canada and in the Carolinas and Pennsylvania.
Among them were assets bought by CRH's Americas Materials unit, which secured 435m tonnes of additional aggregates reserves in states including New York, Michigan, Kentucky and Oregon.
In Europe, CRH paid €58m for five acquisitions, including one in Northern Ireland. It also expanded its network of cement import facilities in Britain.
Chief executive Myles Lee said the firm had continued to develop its portfolio across its six main business segments.
"The acquisition in March of Expocrete, a major concrete business in the attractive western Canada market, represents a significant expansion of CRH's Canadian operations," he said.
"It brings total group annualised sales in Canada to €315m and complements our existing North American architectural products business."
Barry Dixon at Davy Stockbrokers said it was "positive" to see the level of acquisition activity at CRH increase.
Shares in CRH, whose primary listing is in London, closed down almost 1pc in Dublin at €15.72 yesterday.