Irish building materials firm CRH has increased its workforce by 15,000 by buying businesses including Lafarge Tarmac from Lafarge SA and Holcim for €6.5bn (£4.6bn).
The deal follows a decision by The European Commission last year that the proposed merger of Lafarge and Holcim could go ahead – on the condition that they sold various parts of their European empires.
The businesses acquired by CRH today include a Canadian cement producer and aggregates companies in Eastern Europe.
Lafarge Tarmac has been rebranded and will operate in the UK under the Tarmac name with the a blue circle logo.
CRH chief executive Albert Manifold said: “Today we extend a warm welcome to 15,000 new colleagues joining CRH. With their expertise and talent on board, combined with the strength of our existing employee base, CRH is a step closer to achieving our aim of becoming the world’s leading building materials company.
“The businesses we are acquiring, which represent an excellent geographic fit with CRH’s existing operations, are all strong performers in their respective areas. The integration of these high quality assets, which we have acquired at an attractive valuation and at the right point of the cycle, will strengthen our presence in a number of key markets as well as providing new platforms for strategic growth. The additional scale will help us to improve efficiency, speed up innovation and provide an even better service to our customers.”
Tarmac chief executive Cyrille Ragoucy said: “This is an exciting evolution for our business. With our new owner CRH in place to support the ongoing development and delivery of our strategic vision, we’re in an exceptionally strong position to deliver our growth ambitions and continue creating value for our customers, our shareholders and our employees.”
Tarmac now has more than 6,600 employees across more than 330 sites.