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CRH announces further development initiatives of euro 354m bringing total 2000 development spend to over euro 1.5bn

15 January 2001

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces a range of development initiatives totalling euro 354 million undertaken during the second half of 2000. These initiatives are in addition to the acquisition of the Jura Group (euro 268 million net) announced in November.

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

2000 has been a record year for development activity in CRH with a total spend of over euro 1.5 billion. The 27 acquisitions announced today clearly demonstrate the continued success of CRH in completing small and medium-sized deals across the major regions and product groups with a view to enhancing value, providing a sound basis for future growth and maintaining market leadership.

The principal initiatives announced today include:

Materials - Europe: euro 18.7 million - the ongoing development of CRH’s downstream materials activities in Poland and further steps in extending the Finnish operations into asphalt production and paving contracting.

Products & Distribution - Europe: euro 69.2 million - a significant regional expansion of CRH’s Dutch DIY activities together with attractive bolt-on additions for distribution activities in the Paris region, for Belgian precast operations and for CRH’s growing Polish clay brick activities.

Materials - North America: euro 69.8 million - further acquisitions by the Materials Group in the western United States and completion of the fourth bolt-on deal in the Ohio/West Virginia region since the acquisition of The Shelly Company in February 2000.

Products & Distribution - North America: euro 196.2 million - significant additions for CRH’s Precast, Architectural Products and Glass Groups in the United States further consolidating their strong national positions.

CRH plc, the international building materials group, announces a range of development initiatives totalling euro 354 million undertaken during the second half of 2000. These initiatives are in addition to the acquisition of the Jura Group (euro 268 million net) announced in November.

Materials - Europe: euro 18.7 million


In August, the Group acquired 75% of Polbet, a concrete paving manufacturer based in Bydgoszcz to the south of Gdansk with annual sales of euro 8 million. In addition to enhancing the vertical integration of CRH’s operations, this acquisition consolidates the Group’s position as the leading producer of paving products in Poland and extends the market coverage of existing operations in Gdansk, Warsaw, Lublin and Skierniewice to encompass northern and central Poland.

Also in August, CRH invested in Drogomex, a blacktop production and paving contracting business based in Gdansk with annual sales of euro 2 million.


As part of the extension of Rudus Finland’s operations into asphalt production and contracting, CRH acquired Helsingin Katutyö, Asfaltti Mäkiö and Asfalttipiste in July and Asfaltti Tenhunen in November. In conjunction with Espoon Asfaltti and Asfalttineliö acquired in May and June 2000 respectively, these acquisitions provide a sound basis for the continued development of Rudus’ presence in the asphalt contracting business in Finland, increasing annual blacktop sales to circa euro 12 million. In addition, CRH purchased the remaining 30% shareholding in Karjalan Murske in July, a contract aggregates crushing operation headquartered in eastern Finland.

The total cost of the seven development initiatives undertaken by the Materials - Europe Division is euro 18.7 million inclusive of goodwill amounting to euro 7.0 million.

Products & Distribution - Europe: euro 69.2 million

Distribution Group

In October, the Distribution Group acquired Dijkbouw Beheer, an eight-store DIY chain located in the greater Rotterdam area with annual sales of euro 39 million. The Distribution Group’s DIY division now comprises a network of 51 stores throughout the Netherlands operating within the Intergamma franchise.

Also in October, the Distribution Group purchased the remaining 12.5% of Paris-based builders merchant Matériaux Service following the increased investment to 87.5% announced in July 2000. In the same month, the Group acquired Codimat, a single branch builders merchant operating close to Paris. With annual sales of euro 11 million, this acquisition represents an excellent add-on for our distribution group in Île-de-France.

Concrete Products Group

In December, the Concrete Products Group acquired Schelfhoutv, the leading producer in Belgium of precast concrete wall panels for the non-residential market. Located close to the border with the Netherlands and Germany and with annual sales of euro 31 million, Schelfhout expands CRH’s presence in the precast industry in Belgium and provides an excellent base for further development.

Clay Products Group

In November, the Clay Products Group acquired Gozdnica, a leading Polish manufacturer of clay facing bricks located near the border with eastern Germany. Gozdnica owns circa 22 million tonnes of high quality clay reserves. In December, the Group acquired 51% of Cerg, a producer of facing bricks based in Gliwice in Upper Silesia. Added to our existing clay brick business, these acquisitions, which have combined annual sales of euro 12 million, consolidate CRH’s strong presence in the growing facing brick market in Poland.

Ibstock Brick has commenced a project to automate with robotics the de-hacking and blending processes at its Ashdown facility in Sussex, England. This euro 2.6 million investment will lead to higher productivity and reduced operating costs.

The total cost of the six Products & Distribution - Europe transactions is euro 66.6 million, on which goodwill of euro 34.7 million arises.

Materials - North America: euro 69.8 million


Expansion of the Materials Division’s western region continued successfully into the second half of 2000, during which three bolt-on acquisitions with combined annual sales of euro 67 million were completed.

In July, the Division acquired Acme Materials and Construction Company, based in Spokane, Washington. Acme is an integrated producer and supplier of aggregates, asphalt, readymixed concrete and road construction services with approximately 70 million tons of permitted aggregate reserves in the Spokane area. The acquisition of Acme provides additional long-term strategic reserves in eastern Washington and northern Idaho and will lead to synergies in production and delivery in combination with CPM, the Group’s existing operation in the region.

Larry’s, a heavy highway and utility contractor located in Gillette, Wyoming, and Reeves, an integrated aggregates, readymixed concrete, highway and concrete paving construction company based in Buffalo, Wyoming, were acquired in separate transactions in September. The two companies have since been integrated into the existing Cundy Asphalt Paving business headquartered in Gillette.


In July, The Shelly Company acquired Van Wey Sand & Gravel, an aggregates producer and a processor and distributor of limestone located near Columbus, Ohio with annual sales of circa euro 13 million. Van Wey, which is the fourth bolt-on deal to be completed by Shelly since acquisition in February 2000, has long-term access to approximately 35 million tons of permitted aggregate reserves. The acquisition serves to consolidate Shelly’s presence in a key market area and to increase self-sufficiency in aggregate supply.

The total cost of the four acquisitions undertaken by Materials - North America amounts to euro 69.8 million on which goodwill of euro 3.2 million arises.

Products & Distribution - North America: euro 196.2 million

Precast Group

In September, the Precast Group acquired W.R. White Company, a producer of concrete pipe and a distributor of waterworks products with two manufacturing and two distribution locations in Utah and one distribution facility in southern Nevada. With annual sales of euro 52 million, W.R. White complements Amcor’s operations in Utah and expands market coverage into southern Nevada. In addition, the waterworks distribution activities broaden the range of products marketed to existing precast pipe and drainage customers.

Selected assets of New Basis in Livermore, northern California and in Los Angeles and San Diego, southern California were acquired in two transactions in September and November. With combined annual sales of euro 21 million, New Basis’ utility vault operations in California extend the Group’s coverage in a strategically important market and provide a good opportunity to implement cost reductions and enhance operational efficiency.

In October, the Group acquired ConVault Florida, a producer of ConVault tanks based in Wildwood, Florida with annual sales of euro 3 million. Together with New Basis, the consideration for which included the ConVault license for California, this acquisition represents an excellent addition to Oldcastle’s extensive ConVault programme.

In December, the Group acquired New Jersey Concrete Pipe, a pipe manufacturer based in Farmington, New Jersey with annual sales of circa euro 9 million. This acquisition will expand Oldcastle’s product range and market share in the Northeast region and will lead to cost savings in the areas of production and distribution.

Architectural Products Group (APG)

CCI Manufacturing, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was acquired by APG in July. CCI, with annual sales of euro 68 million, enjoys market leadership in the distribution of natural stone and in the provision of specialty site-mix concrete for residential hardscape projects and street repair. It serves the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Austin metropolitan markets from a network of six stone yards and eight concrete locations including three combined hub facilities. The acquisition of CCI enables APG to expand its product offering in its core masonry and hardscape sectors whilst also providing growth opportunities through the supply of masonry and hardscape products from CCI’s sites.

Also in July, APG acquired Gollin Supply and Block Company, a concrete masonry producer serving the Michigan market. With annual sales of euro 7 million, Gollin is an attractive bolt-on and capacity-enhancing deal for APG’s existing 4D operation (acquired in June 1999) permitting the Group to provide improved service to the large construction and homecenter sectors in the state.

Glass Group

In September, the Glass Group acquired Hoffer’s, a fabricator and distributor of residential and commercial glass products throughout the upper Mid-West. The company is headquartered in Wausau, Wisconsin with three manufacturing and five distribution facilities in five states. In addition to the realisation of purchasing benefits, the acquisition provides an excellent opportunity to increase the market share of the Group in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana.

Laminated Glass Corporation, a producer of specialist laminated glass products based in Telford, Pennsylvania, was acquired in December. The acquisition provides the Glass Group with a solid manufacturing presence in the important Mid-Atlantic and New England markets and addresses capacity constraints at the Group’s nearest laminating facility in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Combined annual sales for these acquisitions amount to circa euro 90 million.

The Glass Group has initiated a euro 5.2 million project to expand its tempering and insulated glass manufacturing facilities at United Tempering Systems (UTS) based in Vancouver, Washington. The additional manufacturing space afforded by the expansion will enable UTS to take advantage of strong market growth in the Pacific Northwest and to increase the penetration of its insulated glass products in the region.

Distribution Group

In September, the Distribution Group acquired Southeast Wholesale Supply, a distributor of roofing materials with three branches in eastern Florida. With annual sales of approximately euro 15 million, Southeast Wholesale extends the geographic coverage and product range of the Group’s existing activities in Florida. The acquisition expands the Distribution Group’s branch network to over 100 specialist outlets selling roofing, siding and related products throughout the United States.

The total cost of the ten acquisitions completed by Products & Distribution - North America amounts to euro 191.0 million including goodwill of euro 98.7 million.

CRH’s results for the year ended 31 December, 2000 will be announced on Tuesday, 6 March, 2001.

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