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CRH announces further development initiatives of euro 294m

05 July 2001

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces a range of development initiatives totalling euro 294.0 million undertaken during the first half of 2001. These initiatives are in addition to the acquisition of Mount Hope Rock Products (euro 160.5 million) announced in April and bring total development activity in the first half of 2001 to over euro 450 million.

The principal initiatives contained in this Development Strategy Update may be summarised as follows:

  • Materials - Europe: euro 2.0 million - the ongoing development of CRH’s downstream materials activities in Poland through the acquisition of a producer of asphalt and readymixed concrete based near Katowice in Silesia.
  • Products & Distribution - Europe: euro 80.7 million - significant expansion of CRH’s concrete products and insulation activities in France and Germany respectively, together with attractive bolt-on acquisitions for Ibstock’s clay brick business in Britain and the Group’s distribution operations in the Netherlands and in Ile-de-France.
  • Materials - North America: euro 113.8 million - further acquisitions by the Materials Division in Utah, Washington, Michigan and Vermont which consolidate market leadership positions together with the completion of the fifth bolt-on transaction in the Ohio/West Virginia region since the acquisition of The Shelly Company in February 2000.
  • Products & Distribution - North America: euro 97.5 million - continued growth of the Precast Group’s interests in Georgia and New York and a number of significant additions for CRH’s Architectural Products Group in the United States and Canada aimed at expanding the product range and enhancing national market leadership.

Commenting on these developments, Liam O’Mahony, CRH Chief Executive, said:

"The initiatives announced today, including 20 bolt-on acquisitions, are very much in keeping with our well-proven and long-term development strategy. We believe that these deals will help to drive growth and consolidate market leadership positions across all Divisions of the Group."

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces a range of development initiatives totalling euro 294.0 million undertaken during the first half of 2001. These initiatives are in addition to the acquisition of Mount Hope Rock Products (euro 160.5 million) announced in April and bring total development activity in the first half of 2001 to over euro 450 million.

Materials - Europe: euro 2.0 million


In March, the Group acquired PRD Budostal, an asphalt and readymixed concrete producer with annual sales of euro 7 million. In addition to further enhancing the vertical integration of CRH’s operations, this acquisition provides access to the attractive blacktop and readymixed concrete markets in the vicinity of Katowice in southwestern Poland. Goodwill of euro 0.4 million arose on this transaction.

Products & Distribution - Europe: euro 80.7 million

Concrete Products Group

In February, the Group bought out the remaining 20% shareholding in Dijon-based Prefaest, a leading manufacturer of precast concrete drainage systems and telecommunications vaults in France. This was followed in April by the acquisition of La Société Béton Moulé Industriel (BMI), a major supplier of precast concrete products to the French utilities sector with annual sales of euro 47 million. The integration of BMI with Prefaest expands CRH’s presence in the utility precast sector in Mainland Europe.

Clay Products Group

In May, Ibstock acquired Kevington Building Products, a specialist clay brick cutting and bonding company operating from four locations in the south of England. With annual sales of euro 5 million and market leadership in the cutting and bonding segment, Kevington expands Ibstock’s existing presence in this niche sector and provides an excellent base for further development.

Building Products Group

In May, the Insulation Group significantly expanded its presence in the European insulation market through the acquisition of 100% of Gefinex, the leading manufacturer of polyethylene insulation (PE) in Germany. Gefinex also has a 49% stake in Gefinex Jackon, the joint market leader in the German extruded polystyrene (XPS) market. CRH’s wholly owned XPS operation in Belgium, Vebofoam, has been transferred to Gefinex Jackon as part of the deal. With combined annual incremental sales of euro 45 million, this deal provides CRH with market leadership in both the XPS and PE sectors in Germany, Europe’s single largest construction market, and will enable CRH to benefit from innovative product and process development initiatives previously undertaken by Gefinex.

Distribution Group

In May, Van Neerbos acquired KARWEI Gorinchem, the largest store in the KARWEI DIY franchise in the Netherlands. With annual sales of euro 7 million, the acquisition strengthens CRH’s presence in the Dutch DIY market where Van Neerbos now operates a total of fifty two GAMMA and KARWEI stores.

Also in May, the Group purchased Buscaglia, a specialist infrastructural products distributor with annual sales of euro 22 million. Operating from three locations in the northeast of Paris, the acquisition further consolidates CRH’s presence in merchanting in the Ile-de-France region.

The total cost of the six Products & Distribution - Europe transactions is euro 80.7 million, on which goodwill of euro 25.4 million arises.

Materials - North America: euro 113.8 million

Expansion of the Materials Division in North America continued successfully into the first half of 2001, during which period seven bolt-on deals were completed, adding combined annual sales of euro 91 million.


In March, Pike Industries acquired Fuller Sand and Gravel, a producer of aggregates and asphalt based in Danby, Vermont. The acquisition facilitates the realisation of production synergies and provides a guaranteed source of high quality aggregates for Pike’s operations in the area.


In February, Thompson-McCully acquired Klett Construction, a paving contractor in southwest Michigan. The consideration for the transaction included the exchange of two asphalt plants located in Weymouth and Watertown, Massachusetts. In addition to enhancing Oldcastle’s presence in the asphalt paving market in Michigan, the acquisition will lead to savings in liquid asphalt and energy costs.

In May, The Shelly Company acquired Tri-County Limestone and Hardin Quarry located near Columbus, Ohio. These companies are engaged in the production of aggregates and have permitted aggregate reserves of 37 million tons. This is the fifth bolt-on deal to be completed by Shelly since acquisition by CRH in February 2000 further consolidating Shelly’s presence in a key market area and increasing the group’s self-sufficiency in aggregate supply in that area.


Foss Lewis and Sons Construction, a construction and aggregates company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was acquired in February. The construction activities, which focus on excavation and related work, have been disposed of post-acquisition. The Foss Lewis quarry is situated immediately adjacent to the existing Staker facility in Salt Lake City and has aggregate reserves of 20 million tons.

In April, the Division acquired selected assets of US Aggregates also in Salt Lake City. The transaction entailed the payment of cash and exchanging existing CRH quarry assets in Utah (Keigley and Lehi) for two quarries in Salt Lake City (Falcon Ridge and Beck Street), one asphalt plant and seven readymixed concrete plants. The assets acquired are an excellent fit with Staker’s aggregate and asphalt operations and Parson’s readymixed concrete activities in the Salt Lake City area and should allow the Group to achieve synergies in the areas of production and delivery costs.

The aggregates and readymixed concrete operations of Hanson America in Salt Lake City were acquired in May. The quarry, located to the south of Salt Lake City with permitted reserves of 13 million tons, is strategically positioned to service the Division’s increased presence in the Salt Lake City area. Together with the US Aggregates asset exchange, this acquisition further augments Parson’s readymixed concrete activities in Salt Lake City and offers scope for adding value through overhead reduction and operational synergies.

Also in May, the Division acquired Wenatchee Sand & Gravel and Central Washington Concrete, the largest producers and suppliers of construction aggregate in north central Washington. The deal provides additional long-term strategic reserves and will enable the attainment of production efficiencies in combination with CRH’s existing operations in the region.

The total cost of the seven deals undertaken by Materials - North America amounts to euro 113.8 million on which goodwill of euro 22.8 million arises.

Products & Distribution - North America: euro 97.5 million

Precast Group

The Precast Group completed two acquisitions in the first half of 2001 generating incremental annual sales of approximately euro 25 million.

Selected assets of New Basis in Toccoa, Georgia were acquired in January following similar acquisitions in California announced in the second half 2000 Development Strategy Update. With annual sales of euro 7 million, the acquisition broadens the Group’s product offering to encompass customised panel huts and specialist exterior finishes and expands coverage in the strategically significant Georgia, Tennessee and Carolinas markets.

In June, the Group acquired certain assets of AFCO, a precast concrete producer located in the Long Island area of New York. This acquisition gives the Precast Group a solid manufacturing presence, a loyal customer base and a platform for future growth in the important and lucrative New York City and Long Island markets. AFCO’s utility product line complements the Precast Group’s core utility contractor business and gives the Group its first significant position in the sanitary and storm manhole markets in the Northeast.

Architectural Products Group (APG)


In February, APG bought out the 35% minority shareholding in Groupe Permacon in accordance with the terms of an option negotiated at the time of CRH’s initial investment in 1997. Permacon operates four plants in Quebec and two in Ontario and produces a broad range of masonry, paving and retaining wall products for the homecenter and hardscapes sectors.

In March, APG acquired Blue Circle Masonry Canada, a producer of concrete block and architectural masonry with four manufacturing facilities in Ontario. In addition to cost reduction opportunities, the acquisition provides a strong position in Canada’s most populous province with an established network of plants through which APG can continue to build its presence in the premium hardscapes market in the province.

In April, APG purchased Décor Precast, a leading producer of homecenter and masonry products with manufacturing facilities in Ontario and Michigan. The acquisition of Décor consolidates APG’s position in Ontario and facilitates increased penetration of the attractive homecenter sector in Canada. In addition, savings will be derived in transportation costs through employing existing APG companies in Quebec, Ontario, New York and Michigan as supply hubs.

APG has also commenced a project to upgrade and reopen a large pallet paver plant at the Permacon location in Bolton, Ontario at a cost of euro 4.2 million. The facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, provides incremental capacity to assist both Permacon and Décor in developing APG’s homecenter and hardscape business in Ontario. This expenditure follows similar investments in Texas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, California and Massachusetts announced in recent years.

United States

Also in February, APG acquired Big M of Culpeper, a manufacturer of concrete and garden products based in Culpeper, Virginia. In combination with existing activities, the acquisition generates savings in transportation costs and increases APG’s involvement in the rapidly growing retail sector for specialist concrete products.

Architectural Products Group (APG)

The Group acquired Best Block South, which holds an exclusive license to manufacture patented segmental retaining wall products in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and eastern Tennessee, in March. The acquisition expands the Group’s product offering to the homecenter market in several key southeastern states and provides an excellent base for future development initiatives in this specialist sector.

In May, the Group acquired selected assets of three block plants in the Carolinas previously owned by Unicon Concrete. The plants acquired assist in relieving capacity constraints at existing APG operations in the region, permitting the Group to optimise production, reduce transport costs and introduce other products (including segmental retaining walls arising from the acquisition of Best Block South as discussed above).

The five acquisitions completed by APG in the first half of 2001 generate incremental annual sales approximating euro 85 million.

The total cost of the five acquisitions and the buyout completed by Products & Distribution - North America amounts to euro 93.3 million including goodwill of euro 35.8 million.

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