Hanson PLC acquisition update

Hanson PLC acquisition update
Published: 23 June 2005

Hanson PLC, the international building materials company, today announces four recently completed acquisitions in the USA for a total cost of approximately £100m. This brings the total acquisition spend for Hanson so far this year to close to £300m. 
 
- Three acquisitions in the San Francisco Bay area of northern California - Mission Valley Rock Company, Berkeley Ready Mix Company and Berkeley Asphalt Company. With an estimated 60 million tons of permitted aggregates reserves, Mission Valley Rock controls some of the largest remaining reserves of increasingly scarce land-based aggregates in the San Francisco Bay area. 
 
- Acquisition of the assets of Sherman Pipe, a concrete pipe and pre-cast concrete products business in Alabama and Georgia, which expands Hanson’s existing presence in the southeast region of the USA. 
 
In addition, Hanson has disposed of its 50 per cent interest in Campbell Concrete and Materials ("Campbells"), a ready-mixed concrete business operating in Houston, Texas. 
 
Commenting on these transactions, Alan Murray, Chief Executive of Hanson PLC, said: "All of these development initiatives are examples of our strategy in action. The three acquisitions in California are an excellent fit with our existing operations and include valuable long-term aggregates reserves in a market we know well. Sherman Pipe expands our building products’ footprint in Alabama and Georgia. The Campbells disposal completes our withdrawal from ready-mixed concrete in Texas. I’m very pleased with development progress to date and we will continue to look for further bolt-on acquisition opportunities this year." 
 
Hanson has acquired 100 per cent of the commonly owned stock of Mission Valley Rock Company, Berkeley Ready Mix Company and Berkeley Asphalt Company. The three companies were privately owned entities and are engaged in aggregates, ready-mixed concrete and asphalt businesses in the San Francisco Bay area of northern California. 
 
Mission Valley Rock Company produces around 2Mt of aggregates per annum from its quarry located near Sunol, approximately 30 miles from the centre of San Francisco. With an estimated 60 million tons of permitted aggregate reserves, the company controls some of the largest remaining reserves of increasingly scarce land-based aggregates in the San Francisco Bay area. In addition to its quarry operation, Mission Valley Rock operates a sand distribution business at the port of San Francisco. 
 
Berkeley Ready Mix operates three ready-mixed concrete facilities in the San Francisco Bay area at Sunol, Berkeley and Oakland. Berkeley Asphalt has two asphalt plants in Sunol and Berkeley. 
 
These three companies had combined turnover of approximately $75m for the financial year ended March 31, 2005 and combined net assets of approximately $30m at March 31, 2005. The businesses will be integrated into Hanson Aggregates North America’s existing operations in northern California, where Hanson is already a leading supplier of aggregates and cement. 
 
Hanson is expanding its strong position in the US concrete pipe and products market by acquiring the fixed assets and inventory of Sherman Pipe, a concrete pipe and pre-cast concrete products business operating in Alabama and Georgia, from Lehigh Cement Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HeidelbergCement AG. 
 
Sherman Pipe will be integrated into Hanson Building Products North America. It strengthens Hanson’s position in Alabama and provides a new manufacturing presence in Georgia. Sherman Pipe has six plants in Alabama which complement the two plants owned by Hanson in that state. Sherman Pipe also has four plants in Georgia, a state which Hanson previously supplied from plants in neighbouring Florida and South Carolina. 
 
Sherman Pipe produced around 630,000 tons of concrete pipe and products in the year ended December 31, 2004. Turnover for that year was approximately $72 million, and the book value of the net assets to be acquired was approximately $40 million at December 31, 2004.