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Mittal pays £272m for plants

Britain's richest man, the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, has made his first personal acquisition in the UK after agreeing to buy one of the country's largest cement plants in a £272m deal with Tarmac and France's Lafarge.

Mr Mittal will acquire 172 ready-mix concrete plants and five aggregates quarries, as well as the Hope cement plant in Derbyshire.

A spokesman for Mr Mittal said: "We have confidence in the future growth of the British economy and, more specifically, the construction sector.

As the UK moves out of recession we expect to see a recovery in construction activity.