Irish building materials company CRH is to buy US rival Ash Grove Cement Company for $3.5bn.
The transaction was unanimously approved by Ash Grove’s board of directors and is expected to close in late 2017 or early 2018, if it meets with the approval of shareholders and regulators.
CRH, which will finance the merger from its own resources, is North America’s biggest maker of concrete products and the second largest supplier of aggregate materials for construction.
Ash Grove, which is the fifth largest cement company in the US, operates eight plants across eight states, combined with extensive readymixed, aggregates and associated logistics assets across the Midwest.
In 2016, Ash Grove reported a profit before tax of $215m.
Charlie Sunderland, chairman of the Ash Grove, said: "CRH, as our largest customer, has enjoyed a close and highly productive relationship with Ash Grove for many decades.
"The board of directors believes that CRH will be able to take Ash Grove to its next phase of development after 135 years in operation and over a century under the stewardship of the Sunderland family."
Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH, commented: "Ash Grove is an excellent addition to CRH’s portfolio of businesses across North America as we seek to deploy our capital into high quality businesses that enhance our global asset base and provide opportunities to create shareholder value."
Image courtesy of Ash Grove Cement Company