LafargeHolcim Ltd. projects a second quarter closing on a $3.4 billion deal for Nashville-based Firestone Building Products (FBP), the largest acquisition in the company’s five-year history and one stretching well beyond its cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete production competencies. With a full range of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), thermoplastic polyolefin, PVC, asphalt and metal offerings, FBP is a key player in commercial roofing and companion insulation; its Wall and Lining businesses feature metal building or siding panels and vertical insulation, plus geomembrane or rubber products for civil or recreational water retention systems.
The acquisition is a milestone in LafargeHolcim’s quest to become a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions and “build a world that works for people and the planet,” according to CEO Jan Jenisch, who gained roofing market perspective at the helm of Swiss contemporary Sika AG. “With Firestone Building Products, we are strengthening our biggest market, the U.S., while also building a global growth and innovation platform. I have great respect for the high-caliber leadership and expertise of the Firestone Building Products team and look forward to welcoming them into the LafargeHolcim family.”
“We are in a prime position to accelerate our growth by combining [our] advanced technologies and know-how with LafargeHolcim’s global scale and reach,” adds FBP President Taylor Cole, whose organization spans 15 manufacturing facilities, 1,800 distribution points, and three research & development laboratories.
Building on FBP organic growth, LafargeHolcim envisions bolt-on acquisitions and cross-selling opportunities with core operations. The producer likewise aims to globalize a roofing, siding, insulation and lining portfolio by leveraging its European and Latin American construction market positions. Officials underscore how urbanization trends are accelerating flat-roof market development and FBP solutions’ instrumental role in resource efficiency, as up to 60 percent of a building’s energy is lost through the roof. FBP mitigates that condition with cool roof, insulation and waterproofing systems, while its green roof offerings contribute to sustainable urban environments. Roofing technologies complement LafargeHolcim’s sustainable building solutions, from ECOPact green concrete to the EcoLabel cementitious materials series—all accelerating a commitment to net zero carbon operations by 2050.
“LafargeHolcim’s purchase of Firestone Building Products will give the firm entrance into a number of new product segments, key among them plastic and rubber low-slope roofing membranes and metal roofing and wall panel assemblies. These products have seen solid gains in demand over the past few years and will continue to do so, providing an immediate boost to annual sales,” observes Matt Zielenski, industry analyst with Cleveland-based market researcher Freedonia Group. “LafargeHolcim has been working to position itself as a provider of environmentally friendly building materials, such as long-lasting concrete formulations that help keep materials out of waste streams. The company can further expand its offerings in this field through Firestone Building Products, which makes such green building materials as light-colored roofing membranes that reduce heat transfer and insulated metal panels that enhance a structure’s energy efficiency.”