Wienerberger is moving into manufacturing in Great Britain through the acquisition of ten facing brick works from venture capitalists Cinven and Royal Bank of Scotland for €145m and is investing a further €5.9m into the Ockley works that has not been producing for over a year. The business currently styled ‘thebrickbusiness, and formed by the merger of Chelwood Brick (Cinven and Ambion Brick (Royal Bank of Scotland) two years ago will in the future trade as Wienerberger and be back in the hands of professional brick makers. It is believed that Cinven, which got involved with Chelwood Brick nine years ago, will not have recovered the cost of its investment.
Great Britain is the largest facing brick market in Europe, with Wienerberger acquiring the third position in the market behind CRH and Hanson. The Vienna-based group, which is the world’s leading brick producer, aims to expand from a current market share of 17%, including imports from its Continental plants, to market leadership in Britain in the medium term and is also marketing clay roof tiles, made by its Koramic arm, through the same organisation.