Ireland’s CRH to Buy Lafarge, Holcim Assets for $7.4 Billion

Irish building supplies group CRH has agreed to pay €6.5 billion ($7.4 billion) for assets Lafarge and Holcim were obliged to sell ahead of their planned merger.
CRH, which said on Sunday it would fund the deal with cash, new debt and a 9.99 percent equity placing, beat a consortium led by Blackstone, whom several people familiar with the matter told Reuters were also in the running. CRH, already the United States’ leading producer of asphalt for highway construction, said in a statement that a stock market announcement setting out the full details of the acquisition would be released as soon as possible. France’s Lafarge and Swiss peer Holcim announced merger plans last year, hoping to cut costs and tackle overcapacity and weak demand. The new company will be the world’s biggest cement maker with around $44 billion in annual sales. The two firms have had to sell assets to win approval from competition regulators for the merger.

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