Business Round up

24 April 2008

Materials buyout

Plumbing and building materials supplier Wolseley has signed an agreement to acquire Nordic building materials distributor DT Group - formerly known as Danske Traelast - for UK£ 1,02 billion (€ 1,5 billion). The deal with DT Group's current owners, CVC Capital, includes the assumption of UK £ 330 million (€ 484 million) of debt. The DT Group has outlets in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, and had sales of € 2,4 billion last year. According to Wolseley, which does not currently have a presence in the Nordic region, this represents a 10% market share.

Polish plans

Acciona has launched a € 49 million bid to acquire the 50,06% of shares it does not already own in Polish civil engineering company Mostostal Warszawa. Acciona is offering PLZ 20 (€ 4,98) per share for the company, a +32% premium on Mostostal Warszawa's share price over the last quarter. The bid is conditional on Acciona receiving acceptances from shareholders representing at least 17% of Mostostal Warszawa's shareholders. Mostostal Warszawa had sales of PLZ 1,1 billion (€ 273 million) last year.

Roofing sale

Lafarge is considering selling a controlling stake in its € 350 million per year roofing division. The unit makes clay, concrete and metal tiles, as well as chimneys, and sells its products in 40 countries around the world. The announcement of the possible sale is part of Lafarge's “Excellence 2008” strategic plan, designed to cut the company's costs by € 400 million by 2008.

UK expansion

Holcim has made a cash offer to acquire 68,3% of Foster Yeoman. The company is a privately-owned UK quarry operator with sales of UK£ 224 million (€ 325 million) per year. The deal is part of Holcim's strategy to diversify into businesses other than cement manufacture in mature markets, and is being made through Aggregate Industries, which Holcim acquired last year. Aggregate Industries has received irrevocable agreements to sell from shareholders representing 68,3% of Foster Yeoman.

Birse offer

UK civil engineering group Birse has recommended its shareholders accept a UK£ 32 million (€ 46,6 million) cash takeover offer from Balfour Beatty. The deal is designed to boost Balfour Beatty's UK civil engineering business and is described as “a good strategic fit.” Last year Birse had sales of UK£ 341 million (€ 495 million). Balfour Beatty's UK civil engineering division had sales of UK£ 425 million (€ 618 million), so the combined group would have pro-forma sales in the sector of UK£ 766 million (€ 1,11 billion).

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