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Ireland's largest firm could be about to get a whole lot larger

CRH is in talks to buy up to €6 billion worth of assets from two rival firms.

Image: CRH

IRELAND’S biggest company – cement and building-materials giant CRH – has been in talks to buy up to €6 billion of assets from two rival firms.

The €16.3 billion business confirmed it had been taking part in “discussions” with Swiss company Holcim and the French Lafarge in what has been described as a potential “game-changer” for the industrial giant.

The potential buyout covers operations in Europe, Canada, Brazil and the Phillipines which the two continental firms are offloading ahead of a proposed merger.

If the deal went ahead, it would make CRH the biggest cement producer in eastern Europe.

Davy analysts said the sale would be “game-changing” and “transformative” for the company if completed, and would help its plan to expand in emerging economies in Europe, Asia and South America.

In a statement, CRH said: “At this stage there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to any transaction.”

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Recently the company has been offloading some of its assets in the UK and US, selling over €500 million of businesses in a December deal.

CRH is already Ireland’s biggest firm by turnover and workforce size, with operations in 35 countries and about 76,000 employees.

It was formed in 1970 through the merger of Irish Cement and another Irish company, Roadstone.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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