CRH goes Dutch in €700m DIY deal

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The Independent Online

CRH, the acquisitive building materials group, has pulled off its biggest deal yet, paying €700m cash for Cementbouw Handel & Industrie, a Dutch DIY group and builders merchant. The transaction will take CRH's acquisition spend so far this year to €1.2bn.

Liam O'Mahony, CRH's chief executive, said: "With its first-class operations in the Dutch market, Cementbouw has long been an acquisition target for CRH and represents an excellent strategic fit with CRH's existing operations in the Netherlands.

"It would firmly establish the enlarged group as a major national player in both retail DIY and wholesale merchanting and strengthen CRH's depth and range of manufactured clay and concrete products."

CRH will pay €646m, including the debt assumed. It will also invest €47m for a 45 per cent stake in a leveraged buyout of Cementbouw's building materials operations. CRH said the deal would not end this year's acquisition spree.

"Our financial capacity to make other acquisitions is strong, and our development teams remain busy; we expect to deliver a further good level of development spend in the remaining five months of the year," Mr O'Mahony said.

Cementbouw's operations are concentrated in the northern and northeast of the Netherlands. CRH's existing Dutch business is predominantly in the south.

"Combining the two would give national coverage and provide opportunities for economies of scale, synergy in back-office operations and sharing of best practice," CRH said.

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