Managing change

Published 18 July 2018

HeidelbergCement’s acquisition of Italcementi in 2016 has accelerated the growth of this major global cement and aggregates giant, which is now ranked as the fourth- largest player worldwide with 195Mta cement capacity across 44 countries. Much of the company’s success is down to agile management and the financially-astute leadership of Dr Bernd Scheifele, widely regarded as one of the best CEOs in the business. In this revealing interview, Dr Scheifele discusses the rationale for the Italcementi acquisition, why Heidelberg turned down an offer to merge with Holcim, and what lies ahead for the future of the company. By ICR Research, UK.

The agile management and financially-astute leadership of Dr Bernd Scheifele

has been key to HeidelbergCement’s success

The history of mergers and acquisitions is littered with failures, with promised value creation often failing to materialise in the long term. Dr Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement since 2005, has a track record that is better than most. Under his leadership, HeidelbergCement made an audacious GBP8bn (US$10.73bn)acquisition of Hanson (UK) in 2007, which greatly enlarged the group’s aggregates division and provided a new pillar for the business. The acquisition happened over a year before the onset of the global financial crisis but the necessary debt refinancing during the crisis proved to be an Herculean task. Nevertheless, Hanson was successfully integrated (see The Scheifele Interview, ICR August 2011, p39-45) and since then, the company has earned a reputation for being one of the best-run cement groups in the business.

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