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CRH divests of German, Dutch subsidiaries

Aggregates group CRH has disposed of German and Dutch subsidiaries as part of a wider plan to divest non-core assets.

The businesses -- Germany-based Jet Group and Plastic Roof Light Group in the Netherlands -- are both involved in the manufacture of heat and smoke ventilation systems. They've been acquired by their management teams in a deal backed by Dutch private equity group H2 Equity Partners.

Both companies are involved in the development, manufacturing, sale and distribution of dome lights and continuous rooflights as well as technology for daily ventilation equipment and smoke and heat exhaust systems.

They will continue to operate independently after the takeover but are now under joint management control.

Jet's current managing director, Geert Kessels, will lead both firms.

The two firms employ 550 people between five sites in Germany, two in the Netherlands, one in the UK and one in Poland. They have combined annual revenues of more than €100m.

The purchase price for the two companies wasn't disclosed. However, CRH had previously flagged that it expected to generate as much as €250m from the sale of non-core assets.

Last year it sold a steel and wire reinforcements business in the US for about €37m. It also agreed in 2010 to sell its European insulation manufacturing business to Kingspan for €120m, while CRH's Brakel Group was sold to the subsidiary's management team for €45m in March. The sale of Jet Group and Plastic Roof is unlikely, however, to have generated the remainder of the €250m disposal target.

"We are convinced that the business activities of Plastic Rooflight and Jet will dovetail perfectly," said Mr Kessels.

"Our aim is mutual growth -- and in this process we will be ideally supported by our new investor H2," he added.

Irish Independent