In less than four weeks after its creation, LafargeHolcim Ltd. executed major asset sales per agreements with regulators in North America and overseas markets.
Dublin-based CRH Plc closed on a portfolio of Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Ltd. cement, concrete and aggregate production assets in 10 countries across the Americas and Europe. At a $7.2 billion enterprise value, the transaction was among the largest to date involving publicly traded, global heavy building materials companies—trailing Cemex-Rinker and HeidelbergCement-Hanson ($15 billion–$16 billion; 2007) and Lafarge-Orascom ($12 billion, 2008).
The acquired assets span nearly 700 sites, approximately 10 percent of which are cement, ready mixed concrete and aggregate plants, plus 18 terminals, under or tied to Holcim (Canada) Inc. They extend to the north a solid footprint CRH’s Oldcastle Materials business enjoys throughout Great Lakes markets in the U.S. Globally, the transaction doubles CRH cement output; strengthens its ready mixed production profile; and, positions the company as the number two and three player, respectively, in aggregates (behind HeidelbergCement) and overall heavy building materials shipments (LafargeHolcim, Cemex).
In a nod to 15,000 new colleagues bringing CRH worldwide headcount just past 90,000, Chief Executive Albert Manifold noted in a statement, “With their expertise and talent on board, combined with the strength of our existing employee base, CRH is a step closer to achieving our aim of becoming the world’s leading building materials company. The businesses we are acquiring, which represent an excellent geographic fit with existing operations, are all strong performers.”
Two weeks prior to the CRH transaction, Denver-based Summit Materials Inc.—headed by a longtime Oldcastle Materials executive—closed on Lafarge North America’s Davenport, Iowa cement plant, along with a West Des Moines, Iowa, and six Mississippi River terminals. In addition to cash payments—$370 million upfront, $80 million by year’s end— Summit transferred a Bettendorf, Iowa, terminal to LafargeHolcim. That property is part of its largest holding, Continental Cement Co. LLC, into which the Davenport mill and New Orleans to St. Paul–Minneapolis terminal network are being integrated.
The newly acquired operations complement Continental Cement’s Hannibal, Mo., plant and St. Louis terminal. Following the transaction, Summit owns 2.4 million short tons of cement production capacity across the two mills, plus eight cement distribution terminals along the Mississippi River system. Notes Summit CEO Tom Hill, the acquisition “roughly doubles our cement capacity and firmly establishes our position as a top three cement producer on the Mississippi River.”