CRH adds Danish, Finnish bolt-ons

CRH adds Danish, Finnish bolt-ons
Published: 16 October 2003

CRH has tied down two deals costing an estimated €100m in Denmark and Finland in thepast couple of months. The international building materials group yesterday confirmed the acquisition of Finland's largest manufacturer of concrete products.  The purchase of Abetoni Oy from the German firm, HeidelbergCement, will extend theIrish group's reach in a country where it already owns the largest cement producer, Finnsementti. It was also acquired from the German group following its acquisition of Scancem.  The consideration has not been disclosed, but is likely to be costing close to €30m, which is the level of the Finnish company's annual sales. A consideration of around one times sales is thought likely.

This deal comes fast on the heels of a larger one in Denmark. CRH last month completedthe purchase of Betonelement, a company engaged in pre-fabricated construction that operates from seven plants and employs 550 people, compared with Abetoni's 240.  Its annual sales are running at around €70m which suggests an asking price somewherein this range, putting a combined price tag of circa €100m on the two deals. Betonelement was a 50:50 joint venture of two Danish companies Hojgaard and NCC. Adecision on the Finnish regulatory approval is expected before the end of this month. CRH is expected to include the two deals in its next development strategy update early in the New Year. CRH's Finnish division is active in the ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, asphalt, andenvironmental technology businesses in Finland, the Baltic countries and Russia. It has more than 1,000 staff and had net sales of €234m in 2002.