CRH in € 300 million first half spend

By Helen Wright06 July 2011

Expansive construction materials producer CRH spent € 200 million during the first half on developing its business, completing 21 acquisitions and investment initiatives over the period.

And the company has signed a further agreement to buy Belgian cement maker VVM - a deal that will take the first half spend to € 300 million.

CRH, which is based in Ireland, said its Europe materials division would acquire the family owned VVM Group of businesses which operate two cement grinding mills with a combined capacity of 1,5 million tonnes in Belgium, and two ready mixed concrete plants in Belgium and France.

Meanwhile, CRH's Americas materials division had the highest spend during the first six months of the year, spending € 98 million (US$ 137 million) on seven acquisitions and two investments, including a precast business in the US and a masonry business in Canada.

The Europe materials division had the next highest, with € 40 million spent on one acquisition and two investments. The Americas products & distribution business spent € 28 million (US$ 40 million) on four acquisitions during the period, while the Europe products & distribution business spent € 40 million on one acquisition and two investments during the first half.

Chief executive Myles Lee said the deals strengthened the CRH's market position and added well-located aggregates reserves.

"The VVM transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, represents an important strategic opportunity for our existing Cementbouw cement trading and ready mixed concrete business in the Benelux [region], while also complementing our products businesses in the region," Mr Lee said, adding that the pipeline of potential acquisitions remained good.

CRH also completed a number of divestments during the first half which generated proceeds for reinvestment of € 345 million, Mr Lee said.

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