Until recently, Aggregate Industries was a subsidiary of Holcim; it is now part of the merged LafargeHolcim group that was created earlier this month.
While most of Lafarge’s UK assets in the Lafarge Tarmac business are being sold to CRH under a pre-arranged deal to satisfy competition authorities, Aggregate Industries is taking on certain operations.
These are cement plants in Cauldon, Staffordshire and Cookstown, County Tyrone, along with a quarry at Cauldon Low and a cement terminal at Belfast Docks.
Cauldon, original a Blue Circle quarry, produces approximately one million tonnes of cement per annum.
The transfer was finalised on Monday 20th July 2015 and also involves the transfer of 250 employees from the existing operations to Aggregate Industries.
Aggregate Industries described its move into cement production and supply as “the final piece in the jigsaw”, allowing the company to provide a full range of construction materials to their customers.
CEO Pat Ward said: "These are exciting times for Aggregate Industries. Along with the wider benefits of being part of the new LafargeHolcim group, the integration of cement production represents a significant strategic opportunity for us. We’re now able to offer our customers the full range of construction materials and solutions, while maintaining our high levels of customer service."
Given the strength of the Lafarge cement brand, the business has chosen to continue with this branding for its bulk cement products, although some of the bagged products will be renamed in due course.
The new cement division will be led by Joe Hudson, managing director, cement & concrete products. He joins Aggregate Industries from Lafarge, where he has worked since 2001. He has been heavily involved in preparations for the LafargeHolcim merger as group senior vice president for organisation & development at Lafarge and has experience of running a cement business, having previously worked as CEO for Lafarge Wapco Plc in Nigeria.