The Austrian-based contractor Strabag has signed an agreement to purchase the Cemex operations in Austria and in Hungary for EUR310m, subject to regulatory approval.
The Austrian activities being acquired generated a turnover of €196m in 2007 from the sale of 7.1Mt of aggregates and 2Mm³ of ready-mixed concrete, while the Hungarian turnover reached EUR61m from the sale of 1.8Mt of aggregates and 0.8Mm³ of ready-mixed concrete.
Cemex was already the market leader in ready-mixed concrete in Austria and the second largest in Hungary and the combined operations would give Strabag a very strong position in both countries. Including associates, the deal would increase the number of quarries and pits in Austria from 24 to 54 and the number of batching plants from 45 to 62, while in Hungary, the number of extraction sites would rise from 11 to 19 and the number of batching plants from 31 to 71.
Strabag is currently building its first cement works at Kiralyeghahza in southwestern Hungary. This 0.85Mta works is expected to start producing cement in 2010 and to supply cement to Strabag operations across the former Hapsburg Empire.
Strabag is currently negotiating a joint venture in cement with the Russian producer Basic Element, which would cover the cement operations of the two groups. However, these negotiations have been dragging on since at least last autumn.