CRH is in the process of acquiring the VVM cement business from the Van Eeckhout family, subject to official approval. VVM operates two grinding centres in the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Ghent. These have a combined cement capacity of 1.5Mta. The deal also includes two batching plants, one in Belgium and one in France. The transaction would provide CRH with additional capacity to supply cement to its Dutch downstream operations.
With this deal, CRH's spending on acquisitions for the year to date amounts to roughly €300m, of which VVM would represent about one third. The Portuguese joint venture Secil has bought Lafarge's Portuguese aggregates and concrete operations, consisting of four quarries and 30 batching plants. In Ukraine, it acquired Lviv Beton, which produces pre-cast and ready-mixed concrete and owns aggregates deposits near the city of Lviv. Next door, in Poland, CRH has raised its stake in lime-sand brick producer Grupa Silikaty from 75% to 90%.
The products and distribution side spent some €20m in Belgium, The Netherlands and Australia. The American heavy building materials arm spent €98m on buying aggregates and asphalt operations in New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. In the American products and distribution arm, additional businesses were acquired in Québec, Michigan, Florida and Texas for a total of €28m.