Irish building materials group CRH PLC (CRH) said Monday it was in talks to buy up to $4.5 billion of assets from Mexican cement giant Cemex SA (CX).
The assets include operations in Florida and Arizona which Cemex is required to sell by the U.S. Department of Justice following its acquisition in July of Rinker Group Ltd, Australia’s largest maker of building products.
But Dublin-based CRH is also in discussions to buy Cemex’s concrete pipe business, parts of its U.S. materials and product operations, aggregates operations, cement plants and gypsum wallboard distribution business. In Europe, the assets include the San Feliu cement plant in Catalonia, Spain, and Cemex’s readymixed concrete and aggregates assets in Austria and Hungary.
Merrion analyst John Mattimoe said the market knew that Cemex would have to sell some assets as a result of its acquisition of Rinker, but the discussions with CRH involve a lot more than originally envisaged.
He said it would be CRH’s largest ever deal and all the assets have "strategic and operational overlap," so it "should be taken as a positive signal," although there are no financial details yet.
CRH said that "detailed combined financial information on a consistent basis is not yet available," given that the assets are a mix of Cemex and Rinker businesses and the Rinker acquisition has only just completed, but the company said the deal could total between $3.5 billion and $4.5 billion.