RMC may enter pounds 1bn bid battle for Scancem

RMC, the building materials group, is considering entering a pounds 1bn- plus bid battle for Scancem, the Scandinavian rival that owns Castle Cement, the UK's second-biggest cement producer.

Industry sources said RMC's interest in the Swedish group would trigger a fierce bid war with several European rivals, including CRH, the Irish building materials giant, and France's Lafarge, Europe's largest maker of construction products.

The companies declined to comment last night but insiders said that the three groups are set to table an indicative offer for Scancem before tomorrow's deadline. City analysts said the initial bids would be pitched at around pounds 1bn, in line with the group's market value on the Stockholm stock exchange.

Scancem, which is jointly owned by Skansa, the Swedish construction giant, and the Norwegian conglomerate Aker, is a prized asset in Europe's fiercely- competitive building materials market.

The Stockholm-based group is one of Europe's leading cement producers with a dominant market share in the Nordic countries and operations across the globe. Last year it had sales of more than 17.56bn Swedish Kronas (pounds 1.35bn) and profits of over pounds 150m.

Skansa and Aker put the company on sale at the end of last year after European Union anti-trust authorities called for a break-up of the group to reduce its share of the Scandinavian cement market.

The two owners,which control over 90 per cent of the voting rights in Scancem, have still not decided whether to sell the group as a whole or to dispose of its components separately.

The second option would increase the likelihood of a bid by RMC and CRH for Castle Cement, one of Scancem's crown jewels. The UK company commands a 25 per cent slice of Britain's cement market, the second largest after Blue Circle's 45 per cent but ahead of Rugby's 20 per cent. Castle is currently undergoing a pounds 50m modernisation programme to upgrade its plants and reduce costs.

Analysts said a victory by RMC could dramatically change the structure of the UK market as it would create a "one-stop materials shop" offering anything from aggregates, used in roadbuilding and houses, to cement, used in heavy civil engineering projects.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss