CRH reloads acquisition chest with $1.9 billion Distribution deal

Sources: CRH Plc, Dublin; CP staff

Two years after dispatching its Americas Distribution business in a $2.6 billion deal with Beacon Roofing Supply, CRH has penned an agreement to sell a parallel European franchise to private equity and asset management giant Blackstone for $1.9 billion. The Europe Distribution spans General Builders Merchants, which supplies bath, heating and plumbing products to professionals and homeowners through a network of local and regional brands across six countries in Western Europe. 

“The transaction demonstrates the continued execution of [our] strategy of creating value for our shareholders through active portfolio management, efficient allocation of capital, and creating a simpler and more focused Group,” says CRH Chief Executive Albert Manifold.

The divestment follows a strategic asset review during which CRH management considered all options to maximize shareholder value. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, capital returns to shareholders through an ongoing share buyback program, and value-creating acquisitions. Where the latter are concerned, CRH demonstrated a capacity for rapid capital redeployment in the Americas Distribution deal: Months after reaching an agreement with Beacon Roofing, the producer outlined a $3.5 billion acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Co., which closed in August 2018. 


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