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CRH scoops up Ash Grove Cement

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World Cement,

Dublin-based construction materials company, CRH, is to buy US cement maker, Ash Grove Cement Co. in a deal worth US$3.5 billion. The deal continues consolidation within the global building-materials sector.

Family-owned Ash Grove Cement had been the largest remaining US-owned cement maker. In business for 135 years, the company had been owned by the Sunderland family for more than a century, but last month Charlie Sunderland – the fourth generation of Sunderland’s to run the firm – stepped down as CEO and President, although he remained Chairman of the Board.

“Ash Grove is an excellent addition to CRH’s portfolio of businesses across North America, as we seek to deploy our capital into high-quality businesses that enhance our global asset base,” said Albert Manifold, CEO of CRH.

The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the year.

“As our largest customer, CRH has enjoyed a close and highly productive relationship with Ash Grove for many decades,” said Ash Grove’s Sunderland. “The board of directors believes that CRH will be able to take Ash Grove to its next phase of development.

Ash Grove operates eight cement plants across the US, as well as ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, and associated logistics assets across the US Midwest. The company shipped 8.2 million t of cement in 2016.

The deal is the latest to be announced within the cement industry in the last month. HeidelbergCement subsidiary, Italcementi, recently announced it was acquiring the Italian assets of Cementir Holding, while Afrisam and Dangote are currently bidding to acquire South African cement maker, PPC.

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