Source - Alliance News

CRH PLC on Thursday said it had completed stage one in the divestment of its European limestone operations to SigmaRoc PLC, which the latter said will help it become ‘Northern Europe’s leader in lime’.

In November, the Dublin-based building materials company reached an agreement to sell its European lime operations to SigmaRoc for a total consideration of around $1.1 billion. The company operates 16 sites across The UK, Poland, Czechia, Ireland and Germany.

The first phase of this transaction involving CRH’s German, Czech, and Irish operations has now been completed.

SigmaRoc, a London-based buy-and-build specialist targeting construction materials assets, on Thursday said that the acquisition provides ‘an opportunity to become Northern Europe’s leader in lime and a key supplier to the structural growth markets critical for the green transition’.

SigmaRoc said it expects the lime market to be worth around €1.9 billion in 2031 across its total markets following the acquisition of the German, Czech and Irish targets, for which it will pay CRH a total consideration of €745 million.

In November, SigmaRoc raised £200 million via the issue of 418.5 million new shares at 47.5 pence each to partly fund the acquisition.

SigmaRoc said that future targets, CRH’s UK and Polish operations, will ‘require carving out of existing CRH businesses in order to be acquired’. SigmaRoc has call options on these targets and, should it choose to exercise them, will fork out an additional €255 million for both.

The company said that it has traded well since its quarterly update in November, and expects annual results to be in line with the market expectations of £596.9 million and underlying Ebitda of £110.2.

SigmaRoc’s enlarged share capital of 693.8 million ordinary shares, 414.5 million placing shares and 2.6 million Rex intermediaries offer shares became effective to trading on AIM on Thursday at 8:00am. The shares were suspended following announcement of the deal in November, which constitutes a reverse takeover given its size.

Shares in CRH were up 0.3% at 5,250.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning, while SigmaRoc shares were up 1.7% at 53.91p.

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