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CRH succeeds in bid for Ash Grove Cement

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World Cement,

CRH’s US$3.5 billion offer for Ash Grove Cement has been approved by the US company’s shareholders, after rival bidder Summit Materials failed to submit a definitive proposal before the 20 October deadline.

Under the agreement, the Irish building materials giant will acquire the 135-year-old Ash Grove, the largest independent cement producer in the US. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close in late 2017 or early 2018, the US company said in a statement.

Ash Grove shipped 8.2 million t of cement from eight cement plants in 2016. The company’s plants are located in the Midwestern states of Kansas, where the company is headquartered, Nebraska, and Arkensas, as well as Texas, and in the Western states of Utah, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

The company also owns 23 cement terminals, 52 ready-mixed concrete plants, two deep-water import terminals, and 20 limestone quarries. It employs some 2700 people.

The acquisition makes significant strategic sense for both Ash Grove and CRH. CRH is Ash Grove’s largest customer, having had a “close and high-productive relationship for many decades,” Charlie Sunderland, Chairman of Ash Grove’s board said when the deal was first announced.

“CRH’s bid for Ash Grove makes sense from an operational, strategic, and financial perspective,” said Davy Research in a recent note, highlighting its status as Ash Grove’s largest customer, as well as its global presence in the cement sector and “pristine balance sheet”.

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