CRH said to be near acquisition of US cement mixer Suwannee

Deal, which may value Suwannee at $750m, could be announced this week

The purchase of Suwannee will further focus CRH on growth in North America, where it already bills itself as the region’s largest building-materials company

The purchase of Suwannee will further focus CRH on growth in North America, where it already bills itself as the region’s largest building-materials company

 

Irish building materials group CRH is nearing an agreement to acquire Florida-based cement company Suwannee American Cement from Votorantim Cimentos and Anderson Columbia to drive further growth in the US, it is understood.

The companies could announce an agreement as early as this week. The deal may value Suwannee at $750 million (€638m). While talks are advanced, they could still be delayed or fall apart, and the valuation could change. A representative for CRH declined to comment.

Votorantim Cimentos, a Brazilian cement maker, and highway construction firm Anderson Columbia, which each own 50 per cent, could not be immediately reached for comment. Suwannee also could not be reached for comment.

The planned acquisition follows a string of deals for CRH, which last month agreed to buy family-controlled Ash Grove Cement, also based in the US, in a $3.5 billion (€2.98bn) deal.

Ash Grove operates eight cement plants across eight US states, combined with extensive ready-mixed concrete, aggregates and associated logistics assets across the US midwest.

CRH, a serial buyer and seller of assets, announced in August the disposal of an interior building-products division for $2.63 billion (€2.24bn) to Beacon Roofing Supply.

Growth

The purchase of Suwannee will further focus CRH on growth in North America, where it already bills itself as the region’s largest building-materials company.

CRH shares are almost unchanged this year in London, giving it a market value of about £24 billion (€27.1bn).

CRH was seen as being one of the biggest potential gainers from an earlier pledge by US president Donald Trump of massive investment in infrastructure – a plan that Mr Trump has since thrown into question by telling lawmakers in a closed meeting last week that public-private partnerships were not the solution.

Even though a final infrastructure plan has yet to materialise, increased demand in the country for building materials like cement and aggregates is also underpinning the growth outlook of rivals including LafargeHolcim of Switzerland and Germany’s HeidelbergCement. – Bloomberg