Sunday 19 November 2017

CRH acquires US cement company for $3.5bn

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold
CRH chief executive Albert Manifold
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Ireland’s building materials group CRH has agreed to acquire Ash Grove Cement Company for $3.5bn (€2.94bn) in a move to grow its US business.

The proposed transaction, which is subject to Ash Grove shareholder and regulatory approvals, will be financed through existing financial resources.

For the year ended 31 December 2016, Ash Grove reported profit before tax of US$215m and gross assets of US$2.5bn.

Headquartered in Kansas, Ash Grove operates eight cement plants across eight US states.

Prior to the transaction, which is expected to close around year end, CRH was its largest customer.

Read more: Deal-hungry Manifold outlines plans for next phase of CRH growth

"Ash Grove is an excellent addition to CRH's portfolio of businesses across North America as we seek to deploy our capital into high quality businesses that enhance our global asset base and provide opportunities to create shareholder value," Albert Manifold, CEO of CRH said.

"The Board of Directors believes that CRH will be able to bring Ash Grove on the next phase of its development after 135 years in operation and over a century under the stewardship of the Sunderland family," Charlie Sunderland, Chairman of Ash Grove, added.

Last month CRH has announced that was disposing of its Americas Distribution business to Beacon Roofing for €2.2bn citing a lack of acquisition opportunities and a lack of a visible route to market leadership in the area.

The company said at the time that the proceeds of the sale would be reallocated to value creating acquisitions and investments, and in this context the group announced the acquisition of Fels, a German lime and aggregates business for over €600m.

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