PRODUCERS – MARCH 2020

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Eagle Materials Inc. directors have taken a key step toward mid-year separation of cement- and gypsum wallboard-centered Heavy and Light Materials businesses into independent, New York Stock Exchange-traded companies, both Dallas based. Leading the Heavy Materials namesake will be current Chairman Mike Nicolais and President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Haack. Leading the Light Materials business, operating as American Gypsum Company, will be Chairman Dave Powers, former Eagle Materials CEO and current director, and President and CEO Craig Kesler, current chief financial officer.

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PRODUCERS – JULY 2019

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Karl Watson Jr. has moved from executive vice president and chief operating officer at Summit Materials, Denver, to chief executive officer and board member of Forterra Inc., a top concrete pipe and precast drainage structure producer based in Irving, Texas. Succeeding Jeff Bradley, he arrives with 30-plus years in management and executive roles at major heavy building materials operators and, Forterra notes, “a track record of effectively leading through numerous business cycles and improving financial results.”

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Merger-bound parent companies prepare Essroc, Lehigh asset sale: one mill, nine terminals

Sources: U.S. Federal Trade Commission; HeidelbergCement AG, Germany; CP staff

The Federal Trade Commission has outlined terms of the final regulatory clearance hovering the proposed merger of Lehigh Hanson Inc. and Essroc Cement Corp. parents HeidelbergCement AG and Italcementi S.p.A. A June 17 consent agreement calls for the sale of a) Essroc’s 2-million ton/year Martinsburg, W.V., mill plus seven Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia terminals; and, b) Lehigh’s Solvay, N.Y., terminal. A suitor will also have a purchase option for two Essroc terminals in Ohio.

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Heidelberg maps Italcementi integration for home turf, mum on North America

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Sources: HeidelbergCement AG, Heidelberg, Germany; CP staff

Advancing a proposed merger with mid-year target, HeidelbergCement Chairman Dr. Bernd Scheifele announced plans to restructure Italcementi S.p.A. operations, principally at its Bergamo, Italy, headquarters and affecting upward of 400 employees through 2020; consolidate global technical activities at Italcementi’s i.Lab Research & Innovation Centre, a Bergamo facility opened in 2013; and, maintain the Italcementi brand plus homebased plants and industrial network.

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A year of tempered market expectations, bigger multinationals, taller wood buildings

Three developments tracked since January stand out at year’s end: 1) overall concrete shipments did not pace projected level; 2) among global operators, the annual revenue bar for cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments is moving from the $10 billion–$15 billion to $15 billion–$20 billion range, with the top players deriving about 20–25 percent of sales in North America; and, 3) U.S. and Canadian wood interests’ multi-story building market pursuits are reverberating among ready mixed and manufactured-concrete producers.

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Teachable moments, cautionary tales from FTC Lafarge, Holcim review file

Last month’s merger forming LafargeHolcim Ltd. expedited transfer of more than $1 billion in cement, concrete and aggregate production and distribution assets in the U.S. and Canada. The Federal Trade Commission justified a decision and order on the sale of those properties per Section 7 of the Clayton Act, a century-old law augmenting the Sherman Act of 1890. It prohibits mergers if “in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce in any section of the country, the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly,” FTC notes.

 
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Private equity offer trumps Big Board listing for Hanson Building Products

Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG projects a first quarter closing on the $1.4 billion sale of Hanson Building Products operations in the U.S., Eastern Canada and United Kingdom to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a real estate investment-centered private equity firm with Dallas, New York and Frankfurt offices. A definitive agreement on the transaction, announced late last year, superseded a Hanson Building Products Ltd. public offering HeidelbergCement had outlined three months prior in a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filing.

 
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