Irish materials group CRH to sell European distribution arm for €1.6bn

Dublin-based building materials group CRH is to sell its European distribution business to American private equity firm Blackstone for €1.6bn.

The acquisition involves CRH’s general builders merchant network in six countries in Western Europe. In 2018, this business had a pre-tax profit of €124m and gross assets of €1.9bn.

In a press statement, CRH said the sale followed a comprehensive strategic review to simplify its business and maximise shareholder value.

Albert Manifold, CRH’s chief executive, said: "The transaction demonstrates the continued execution of CRH’s strategy of creating value for our shareholders through active portfolio management, the efficient allocation of capital and creating a simpler and more focused group."

Money raised from the transaction will go towards further acquisitions and a share buyback programme.

In 2017, CRH sold its American distribution business, to Beacon Roofing Supply for $2.6bn in cash and bought US rival Ash Grove Cement for $3.5bn.

Image courtesy of CRH

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