USA: public asked for their comments on Martinsburg plant's future

USA: public asked for their comments on Martinsburg plant's future
Published: 27 September 2016


Federal regulators are seeking public opinion on one aspect of the pending US$4.2bn merger between HeidelbergCement and Italcementi that will include a change in ownership for Essroc Cement Corp and the Martinsburg cement plant, West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have raised concenrs about the likelihood that the sale of the Martinsburg cement plant to Argos USA LLC for US$660m would likely harm competition in five US markets - Indianapolis, Baltimore-Washington, DC, Syracuse, NY, and two areas in Virginia: Richmond and Virginia Beach-Norfolk and Newport News. In each of these markets, the FTC alleges the merger as originally proposed would have reduced the number of competitively significant suppliers from three to two.

The FCT said it will accept statements until 24 October on an application from German producer HeidelbergCement AG and Italian cement maker Italcementi SpA to sell Italcementi's cement plant in Martinsburg.

Officials from both companies have said the deal is not expected to affect area cement-making operations. HeidelbergCement expects the entire transaction, which was first announced in July 2015 to be completed by the end of this year. HeidelbergCement previously said that buying Italcementi will add "a valuable portfolio of assets with a perfect geographical fit" to its existing activities.