| 7.6°C Dublin

CRH buys Ukrainian cement firm for €96m from rival

CRH has agreed to pay €96m to buy a cement firm in Ukraine from rival Lafarge.

The Irish firm – one of the world's biggest building materials companies – said it has reached agreement to buy Mykolaiv Cement for an upfront cash consideration and the assumption of debt.

Mykolaiv is located in the Luiv region, in western Ukraine.

CRH entered the Ukrainian market in 1999 when it bought Podilsky Cement. In 2011 it commissioned a new kiln at the facility and that same year acquired a majority stake in Odessa Cement.

The latest acquisition makes CRH the market leader in Ukraine. It said that the purchase will also enable it to further leverage the benefits of the Podilsky factory.

Lafarge made its first foray into Ukraine in 1999, with the acquisition of Mykolaiv. In 2011, the Ukrainian unit supplied over 900,000 tonnes of cement to customers all over the country.

It also supplied cement used for projects connected to the Euro 2012 football championship.

According to local reports in Ukraine, the Mykolaiv operation reported a UAH74.3m (€7m) loss in 2012. That followed a UAH11.2m (€1m) loss it made in 2011.

Lafarge has invested heavily in the factory. In 2007, it announced a €38.3m investment to boost production by 2009.

Irish Independent