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Fri August 23 2019

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CRH to sell its European distribution business

17 Jul Building materials group CRH has agreed to sell all of its European builders’ merchants in a deal worth more than €1.6bn.

The CRH Europe Distribution (CRH ED) business is to be sold to private equity funds managed by Blackstone for an enterprise value of €1.64bn (£1.48bn) , payable in cash. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

The deal covers CRH’s entire general builders’ merchants business in Europe, including its sanitary heating and plumbing business. It supplies building materials to professional builders, specialist contractors and DIY customers through a network of local and regional brands across six countries in Western Europe. The business, which is based in the Netherlands, also operates in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and France.

In 2018 CRH ED generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €155m on sales of €3.7m; the profit before tax for the year was €124m and gross assets at year-end amounted to €1.9bn.

This sale follows a strategic review of the business, which considered all options to maximise value for shareholders. It concludes the exit from distribution businesses across the group, creating what CRH describes as a simpler and more focused business.

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold said: “The transaction announced today 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 going forward. We wish our colleagues in Europe Distribution every success as they enter this new phase of their development.”

Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity for Blackstone, said: “We are delighted to invest in CRH ED. With its leading market position and strong management team it is well positioned to continue growing both organically and through M&A. We look forward to working with Remco Teulings to build on the company’s track record of success.”

Juergen Pinker, senior managing director at Blackstone, said: “Blackstone has a proven track record of investing in, and growing, high-quality European companies. We are pleased to undertake this transaction and to back CRH ED in the next stage of its development, as we look to capitalise on its success.” 

Remco Teulings, CEO, CRH Europe Distribution, said: “We are proud to announce this acquisition by Blackstone. It is testament to all of our dedicated employees who have done so much to build this business. Having already established a strong platform, this transaction will allow us to realise our vision for future and further profitable growth.”

Completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is subject to the customary social procedures and approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.  

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