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CRH enters exclusivity agreement which may lead to the acquisition of Ashland Paving And Construction, Inc.

19 June 2006

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces that one of its US subsidiaries, Oldcastle Materials, Inc., has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Ashland Inc. which may lead to the acquisition of Ashland Paving And Construction, Inc. (APAC) by CRH. Completion of any transaction that might emerge from this process would be subject to US regulatory review and approval by the Boards of Directors of CRH and Ashland.

APAC, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is a leading US aggregates, asphalt and construction company with extensive operations in 14 southern and mid-continent states producing 32 million tons of aggregates and 32 million tons of asphalt annually. In the 12 months ending March 2006, APAC sales amounted to $2.8 billion with profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of approximately $ 200 million.

CRH’s US Materials division, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the number one US asphalt producer; the fourth largest US aggregates producer and a top 10 readymixed concrete player. The division operates in 32 US states, primarily in the Northeast, Midwest and West and in the year ending December 2005 reported sales of $3.9 billion and EBITDA of $ 613 million.

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

Liam O’Mahony Chief Executive
Myles Lee Finance Director
Éimear O’Flynn Head of Investor Relations
Maeve Carton Group Controller

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