CRH, may be close to doing a deal with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian billionaire for a majority stake in a Russian-based cement manufacturing business, reports the Irish Times.
The Irish group did not comment yesterday, but following the publication of its interim results last month, it did say that it was looking at acquisition opportunities in Russia.
It was suggested that it is interested in buying up to 75 per cent of the cement business from Mr Deripaska. Such a deal could be worth more than €400m. The overall business is said to be worth €550m.
CRH already has large cement manufacturing businesses in Eastern Europe, including in Poland and the Ukraine. It already supplies the St Petersburg market from its operations in Finland.
Barry Dixon, analyst with Davy stockbrokers, pointed out yesterday that while the Russian cement market is fragmented, it looks set for a period of future growth.
He also noted that CRH has the balance sheet to complete such a deal.
The group has more than €1bn in cash and a low debt to earnings ratio.
Mr Deripaska is one of Russia’s richest men. Forbes recently estimated his worth at around $10 billion. He is chief executive of Basic Element, which has investments across a number of sectors, including manufacturing, construction, aviation and financial services.