Europe Heavyside’s strategic goal is to be the leading vertically integrated heavyside business in Europe, building leading regional positions in businesses that have the potential to grow further in the large European construction markets. With a balanced approach to demand exposure, product penetration and maximising the benefits of scale and best practice, our business is well differentiated in the marketplace. Enhanced alignment and collaboration leads to value creation throughout our extensive network of well-invested facilities across the division.
Europe Heavyside comprises cement, aggregates, asphalt and concrete operations. These operations are primarily located in UK, Switzerland, Germany, Benelux, France, Denmark, Ireland and Spain, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine and Finland. The business model of vertical integration is founded in resource-backed cement and aggregates assets, which support the manufacture and supply of cement, aggregates, readymixed and precast concrete, concrete landscaping and asphalt products. As a result, extending reserves is an ongoing process and a key focus for the Heavyside business. We place great emphasis on performance improvement initiatives across the business and seek to create value through optimisation of the asset base, maximising Group synergies and leveraging commercial and operational excellence. The scale of our operations provides economies in purchasing and logistics management and our commitment to sustainability is evidenced by greater use of alternative fuels and the manufacture of low carbon cements.
During 2015, the opportunity arose for CRH to acquire certain assets from Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Limited for a total enterprise value of €6.5 billion. These assets have leading market positions and produce cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete and asphalt and related construction activities globally. The European assets included the following; Western Europe (UK, France/La Reunion, Germany), Central and Eastern Europe (Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia).
The Europe Heavyside development strategy is currently focused on integration of our recent acquisitions, maximising the synergies to be gained. We remain focused on bolt-on acquisitions for synergies, reserves and further vertical integration, in addition to opportunities in contiguous regions to extend and strengthen regional positions.
Our portfolio is managed through a focus on value creation, with a strong pipeline of opportunities across regions, including developing markets in Eastern Europe that offer long-term growth potential. As part of CRH’s ongoing strategy to optimise our portfolio, Europe Heavyside completed a total of 14 divestments in 2015, including the
disposal of its 25% equity interest in Mashav, the holding company for the sole producer of cement in Israel, in December 2015.
In total Europe Heavyside employs approximately 27,500 people at close to 1,300 locations in 18 countries.