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CRH agrees to purchase assets of U.S. Aggregates, Inc.

12 March 2002

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces that its Americas Materials Division, Oldcastle Materials Group, has reached agreement with U.S. Aggregates, Inc. (USAI) to acquire all of USAI’s operations in the western and southeastern US for a cash consideration of US$140 million (euro 160.3 million).

As an initial step in the sale process, USAI filed for voluntary petitions for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code on March 11, 2002 and the proposed transaction is still subject to consent by the bankruptcy court and expiration of the waiting period under United States anti-trust laws. Furthermore, and as part of the bankruptcy procedure, a competitive bidding auction will be conducted which will allow other qualified parties the opportunity to bid for the assets of USAI.

USAI’s assets in the western US comprise a fully integrated construction materials business in Utah, Arizona and Nevada with aggregate, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete operations. This business, with aggregate reserves of over 300 million tons, would be a superb fit with Oldcastle’s existing operations in Utah. In 2001, USAI’s western assets sold 5.3 million tons of aggregates, 1.3 million tons of asphalt and 0.3 million cubic yards of ready-mixed concrete. In the southeast, USAI’s assets comprise an aggregates business in the Birmingham, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee areas, with annual volumes of 7.7 million tons and access to 340 million tons of reserves. The proposed deal also includes a ready-mixed concrete business in Chattanooga.

Commenting on the proposed transaction, Tom Hill, CEO of Oldcastle Materials Group, said:

"This potential transaction provides significant opportunities for Oldcastle. It would enable us to further expand our operations in the Mountain region, in particular increasing our ability to expand production to serve the ever-growing Salt Lake City area and extending our business into the attractive Cedar City / St. George region in southern Utah. We expect to improve the profitability of the assets acquired through elimination of duplicate costs as well as greater efficiencies in purchasing, production and transport. The proposed deal also offers the exciting prospect of strategic entry into a new region for Oldcastle with the acquisition of USAI’s southeastern assets in Alabama and Tennessee".


Contact CRH at Dublin: +353 (0) 1 404 1000

Liam O’Mahony Chief Executive
Harry Sheridan Finance Director
Myles Lee General Manager - Finance
Tom Hill CEO Oldcastle Materials Group

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