Ireland’s CRH and the private equity giant KKR are expected to buy Lafarge Tarmac, the UK building materials giant, as part of a €6.5bn (£5bn) deal that will be announced today.
The deal will clear the way for a $40bn merger between France’s Lafarge and Holcim of Switzerland, which will create the world’s largest cement maker.
The pair agreed to sell assets with annual sales of €5bn in order to win approval from competition regulators for their merger, which was unveiled last April. Lafarge has to sell its businesses in Germany, Romania and the UK, while Holcim was asked to dispose of its interests in France, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The UK business, Lafarge Tarmac, employs 6,600 and is believed to be worth about £1.7bn. While the Irish building material group CRH confirmed it will today announce the €6.5bn purchase of Lafarge/Holcim assets and associated debt, it did not specify what exactly it is buying. KKR is, however, known to have been interested in the UK assets.