Business Irish

Saturday 16 December 2017

CRH completes €6.5bn deal with Philippines assets buy

Lorries remove rocks from the pit floor at a CRH quarry
Lorries remove rocks from the pit floor at a CRH quarry
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

CRH has completed its €6.5bn acquisition of businesses from Lafarge and Holcim, after securing the final tranche of assets, which are located in the Philippines.

It's the first time that CRH, Ireland's biggest company, has secured a presence on the islands.

CRH Albert Manifold said previously that the company had been trying to secure a foothold in the Philippines for years before the assets came up for sale as part of a disposal plan by French firm Lafarge and Switzerland's Holcim to enable their merger to secure regulatory approval.

CRH paid €6.5bn for assets sold by the two companies. It bought businesses in countries including Brazil, France, Germany, Hungary, Britain and the United States.

The integration of those businesses will be spearheaded by CRH executive Maeve Carton, who's currently the group finance director. She's being succeeded in that role by Bank of Ireland executive Senan Murphy.

The assets acquired by CRH in the Philippines include Lafarge Republic Inc (LRI), Luzon Continental Land Corporation, and Lafarge Cement Services (Philippines).

CRH teamed up with Aboitiz Equity to buy the Philippines cement business of Lafarge.

Aboitiz, a large Philippines' conglomerate with interests in power generation and banking, said the acquisition involved four cement manufacturing plants on the main island of Luzon, a plant in central Cebu province and limestone quarries.

"Venturing into infrastructure meets our growth criteria," Aboitiz Equity chief executive Erramon Aboitiz said in May when the partnership was revealed.

"We are very optimistic of the potential gains this new core business will bring to the group amid the huge demand for infrastructure in the Philippines."

LRI was a stockmarket-listed company, whose shares are now being delisted.

CRH's revenue in the first half of 2015 rose 13pc to €9.4bn, with a 26pc rise in the Americas. Sales from continuing operations were 17pc higher, rising 3pc in Europe and 32pc in the Americas.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 10pc to €555m, helped by beneficial currency exchange rates.

Mr Manifold said CRH will be "very selective" regarding bolt-on deals in the next couple of years.

Irish Independent

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