Monday 21 January 2019

CRH withdraws interest in PPC acquisition

Under Albert Manifold CRH has expanded significantly in recent years
Under Albert Manifold CRH has expanded significantly in recent years
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

South Africa’s cement producer PPC has announced that Irish cement producer CRH has withdrawn its interest in buying the group.

PPC had previously reported that CRH had expressed an interest in acquiring the company, which allowed CRH conduct initial due diligence.

PPC, which last month would not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest from CRH, said that it had received confirmation on December 4 that CRH would not be pursuing the deal.

According to Davy analysts, CRH’s strategic priority remains its end-markets in Europe and North America so a deal for PPC was always a low probability.

CRH is currently on a buying spree, in October the company agreed a $3.5bn (€3bn) deal for US-based Ash Grove Cement, after buying German lime and aggregates producer Fels for €600m in August.

So far this year, CRH has paid €1.34bn for 27 acquisitions or investment transactions, including deferred and contingent consideration in respect of prior year acquisitions.

It has generated €165m in proceeds from the sale of assets.

Of the acquisitions so far this year, €690m was spent in the Americas, and €650m in Europe.

Ireland’s biggest company expects profits to hit a record €3.2bn this year as it benefits from underlying growth in the Americas and solid momentum in Europe.

In a trading update last month the company confirmed that its sales in the first nine months of 2017 hit €20.7bn, up 2pc on the first nine months of 2016.

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