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SigmaRoc acquires stake in GDH

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

SigmaRoc has announced that it has acquired a 40% equity interest in Gerald D. Harries (GDH), a significant quarrying and construction materials group located in South Wales. It intends to acquire the remaining 60% share by mid-2020.

GDH is one of Wales’ largest independent suppliers of aggregates. It operates out of six granite and limestone quarries, incorporating three asphalt plants, six concrete plants, and a wharf operation, as well as a civil engineering division, delivering significant infrastructure projects.

The business was founded by Gerald D. Harries and was built into the foremost independent regional supplier by his son Ian Harries, who will continue as Chairman of GDH going forward.

For the calendar years ending 31 December 2015, 2016, and 2017, GDH averaged revenues of approximately £23.4 million and EBITDA of approximately £3.4 million. GDH held assets with a book value of approximately £26 million at the end of 2017, including approximately 80 million t of reserves and resources, which is thought to be sufficient for approximately 100 years of quarrying life.

Following the acquisition, David Barrett and David McClelland will join the GDH board alongside Ian Harries and Janet Philips. The investment with GDH will be the foundation for SigmaRoc’s third platform and will incorporate Foelfach High PSV quarry, acquired earlier in 2018. As with other platforms, it will be operated with considerable local autonomy, preserving local employment, in order to ensure local customers continue to benefit from the service and quality delivered by independent suppliers.

SigmaRoc intends to fund the transaction through internal resources and existing debt facilities. The company expects the group’s net debt to EBITDA ratio to remain close to the current level of 2:1.

“Having been approached by several companies to buy the business – SigmaRoc was the only one we engaged with directly, due to its business ethos and commitment to our workforce, which has over the years been a key factor in driving the business forward,” said Ian Harries, Chairman of GDH. “We are very excited too by SigmaRoc’s investment in us, which will allow us to continue the growth of the business into the future, creating job opportunities and continuing to serve our longstanding customers. The strength and depth of SigmaRoc will enable us to drive our business further, for which the process has already commenced.”

“GDH is a great business with a very substantial asset footprint spanning across South Wales,” said David Barrett, Executive Chairman of SigmaRoc. “GDH will be the heart of our South Wales platform. It is a business with a long history of success, and much future potential. Ian Harries’ continued involvement will assist us in delivering growth across the platform for the benefit of our shareholders.”

“I am extremely proud of what our small team has been able to achieve within only a short space of time,” said Max Vermorken, CEO of SigmaRoc. “With GDH as part of the group, we will operate nearly a dozen quarries, 100 million t of reserves and resources, close to 500 people employed, with significant skill, drive, and enthusiasm within the various management teams.”

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