Samse majority stake offer to CRH

The deal is a result of the portfolio review initiated by CRH chief executive

Albert Manifold  took over as chief executive  in January. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Albert Manifold took over as chief executive in January. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

CRH has landed an option to acquire a majority stake in its French publicly quoted joint-venture partner, Samse, under the terms of a deal whose details emerged yesterday.

CRH owns 21.13 per cent of Samse, a building materials business listed on the Paris Stock Exchange which last year earned net profits of €34.7 million on the back of €1.17 million in sales.

The Irish group has agreed to sell its 45 per cent stake in Doras, a builders’ merchant chain jointly owned by both groups, to Samse by the end of this year.

As part of the deal, CRH will receive an option to acquire a majority stake in the Samse itself in 2020, which it will exercise if market conditions allow.

It is also understood that the Irish company has signed a new shareholder’s agreement with its French partner giving it rights that it has not had to date.

The deal is a result of the portfolio review initiated by CRH chief executive, Albert Manifold, after he took the group’s helm in January.

Samse is the second largest builders’ merchant group in France after multi-national St Gobain. CRH did not comment yesterday.

The Irish player has also been named as a possible suitor for a group of businesses that rivals Lafarge and Holcim are offloading as part of their proposed $55 billion merger.

However, the companies in question are valued at more than €6 billion, leading to suggestions that the Irish group would actually join forces with a private equity player before taking on a deal of that nature.