Speculation has arisen that Irish building materials firm CRH is interested in buying up the assets being sold by Lafarge and Holcim. Reuters reported on Thursday that CRH is ‘exploring a bid for all the assets’ being sold, citing sources familiar with the matter. The global newswire also reports that four consortiums are also set to bid for the entire portfolio, which has a suggested value between €5 billion and €7 billion. CRH has not commented on the matter and Holcim has only confirmed that discussions with potential buyers began in August.
Meanwhile, other sources have reported that CRH is specifically interested in acquiring Lafarge’s cement facilities in Romania, including two integrated plants and a grinding plant.
In its half-year statement earlier this year, CRH reported €130 million in acquisition/investment activity on a total of 11 transactions in the first half alone. ‘An orderly, multi-year divestment programme, amounting to c. €1.5 billion to €2 billion, is underway for businesses which no longer meet our returns and growth criteria, or for which we believe CRH is no longer the best long-term owner,’ the company said. At around the same time as this statement was made, Bloomberg reported that CRH was in talks to sell its joint venture with Eren Holding in Turkey – a sale that could potentially be complete next month.
The consortiums reported to also be interested in making a bid for the Holcim-Lafarge assets are:
- Blackstone, Cinven and Canadian pension fund CPP.
- Advent and BC Partners.
- CVC with three unnamed limited partners.
- Bain, Onex and another limited partner.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
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