RMC may enter pounds 1bn bid battle for Scancem
Thursday 25 February 1999
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.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...