CRH to sell European distribution business to Blackstone funds

The deal valued at €1.64bn concludes CRH’s exit from the distribution business

Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw


CRH has agreed to sell its European distribution arm to private equity funds managed by Blackstone Group in a deal valued at €1.64 billion.

The agreement, which includes CRH’s entire general builders merchants business in Europe, comes following a strategic review and concludes CRH’s exit from its distribution business.

CRH’s European distribution arm supplies building materials to professional builders, specialist contractors and DIY customers through a network of local and regional brands across six countries.

CRH, which has attracted the attention of activist investor Cevian Capital, said last year that it was weighing options for the European distribution unit, part of a sweeping overhaul to generate cash for acquisitions.

“The transaction announced today demonstrates the continued execution of CRH’s strategy of creating value for our shareholders through active portfolio management, the efficient allocation of capital, and creating a simpler and more focused group going forward,” said Albert Manifold, CRH chief executive.