Reports that Readymix, the quoted Irish concrete products group, may be about to become the centre of corporate activity intensified yesterday when the share price pushed ahead by another five per cent. The stock has risen by 18 per cent in the past two days, closing yesterday at an all-time high. For a company that had two profit warnings last year, the latest of them less than two months ago, this level of investor support is unusual, to say the least.
Readymix is almost 62 per cent-owned by UK-based RMC Group, which itself is in the course of being acquired by Cemex. Cemex is known to have a global cement trading strategy which suggests that it would wish to integrate its Irish and UK operations more closely. However, market sources suggest that if it was not feasible to supply cement from RMC in the UK to Readymix in this country, then it might prefer to exit Ireland altogether.
Irish competitor Kilsaran showed definite interest in acquiring the business, now capitalised at Euro244m, a few years back, while it is believed that the Lagan group has also shown interest. Then there is also Sean Quinn, who has cement and limited downstream concrete interests.