September 21, 2017 / 4:01 AM / 9 months ago

Building materials firm CRH to buy Ash Grove Cement in $3.5 billion deal

REUTERS - Irish building materials firm CRH Plc said it would buy U.S. cement maker Ash Grove Cement Co in a $3.5 billion deal to expand in North America.

Ash Grove said it estimated to be valued in the range of about $449 to $454 per share based on its balance sheet as of June 30.

Ash Grove operates cement plants in eight plants in as many U.S. states and owns concrete, aggregates and associated logistics assets across the U.S. midwest. It reported profit before tax of $215 million and gross assets of $2.5 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, CRH said.

The deal comes less than a month after CRH said it sold its U.S. distribution business to Beacon Roofing Supply Inc for $2.63 billion in cash to use the proceeds for acquisitions elsewhere.

CRH said at the time it was buying German lime and aggregates producer Fels for 600 million euros ($712.9 million).

The world’s third-biggest building materials supplier also bought 13 other smaller businesses in the first half of the year.

The proposed transaction, expected to close around year-end, will be financed through existing financial resources, CRH said in a statement.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as financial adviser to Ash Grove and Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP is its legal adviser.

($1 = 0.8416 euros)

Reporting by Shubham Kalia and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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