Firm CRH sold for £414m has IPO target of £1bn

Purported valuation of £1bn for UK brick maker Ibstock

CRH attributed an enterprise value of about £414 million to UK brick maker Ibstock. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

CRH attributed an enterprise value of about £414 million to UK brick maker Ibstock. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons


A UK brick company sold by CRH six months ago in a £414 million (€578 million) deal is being prepared for a flotation with a highly ambitious valuation target of more than twice that price, according to Bloomberg.

US private-equity firm Bain Capital is working with JPMorgan Chase and UBS Group on the potential initial public offering (IPO) of brick maker Ibstock, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ibstock, which Bain agreed to buy from Ireland’s biggest company in December, may seek a valuation of more than £1 billion in an IPO, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Rothschild is also working on the potential share sale, which may take place later this year in London, they said. A representative for Bain Capital declined to comment. Representatives for JPMorgan, UBS and Rothschild couldn’t immediately be reached outside regular business hours.

Building services have seen a post-election bounce in the UK, with a measure of confidence in the construction industry rising to the highest in almost a decade in May, according to Markit Economics. Its index of building activity rose to 55.9 from 54.2 and job creation accelerated.

Ibstock is the UK’s biggest brick maker with 20 factories across Britain, according to its website. It takes its name after the Leicestershire town in which it is based.

Bain, co-founded by former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, bought Ibstock from CRH as part of a deal that also included the Glen Gery clayworks business in the US.

The Irish company, when announcing the deal, said it planned to retain £30 million of property associated with the business which it would prepare for “future disposal”.

CRH attributed an enterprise value of about £414 million to the business it sold, with a net cash payment of £295 million after Bain agreed to take on certain pension liabilities.

Even with a rebound in the British housing market, the IPO price being touted by Bloomberg’s sources would appear to be extremely ambitious, given the vast discrepancy between it and the sale price achieved in December by CRH.

The Irish company sold Ibstock at a ratio of about 11 times earnings. The deal was described by Davy stockbrokers at the time as being completed at an “attractive multiple” for CRH.