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
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: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy