CRH Is Said to Near Takeover of U.S. Cement Maker Suwannee

(Bloomberg) -- Global construction materials maker CRH Plc is nearing an agreement to acquire Florida-based cement company Suwannee American Cement LLC from Votorantim Cimentos SA and Anderson Columbia Co. to drive further growth in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The companies could announce an agreement as early as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. The deal may value Suwannee at about $750 million, two of the people said. While talks are advanced, they could still be delayed or fall apart and the valuation could change, they said.

A representative for Dublin-based CRH declined to comment. Votorantim Cimentos, a Brazilian cement maker, and highway construction firm Anderson Columbia, which each own 50 percent, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment outside of regular business hours. Suwannee also couldn’t be reached for comment.

The planned acquisition follows a string of deals for CRH, which last month agreed to buy family-controlled Ash Grove Cement Co., also based in the U.S., in a $3.5 billion deal. The Irish company, a serial buyer and seller of assets, announced in August the disposal of an interior building-products division for $2.63 billion to Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. The purchase of Suwannee will further focus CRH on growth in North America, where it already bills itself as the region’s largest building-materials company.

CRH shares were unchanged at 2,839 pence as of 8:08 a.m. in London. The stock is little changed this year, giving it a market value of about 24 billion pounds ($32 billion).

CRH was seen as being one of the biggest potential gainers from an earlier pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump of massive investment in infrastructure -- a plan that Trump has since thrown into question by telling lawmakers in a closed meeting last week that public-private partnerships aren’t the solution.

Even though a final infrastructure plan has yet to materialize, increased demand in the country for building materials like cement and aggregates is also underpinning the growth outlook of rivals including LafargeHolcim Ltd. of Switzerland and Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG.