Heidelberg’s European bet

HeidelbergCement intention to buy Italcementi will consolidate HeidelbergCement’s No2 position in the cement industry and regain its market leadership in the aggregates sector.

HeidelbergCement planned acquisition follows completion of the LafargeHolcim merger in mid-July and is premised on recovery in the Mediterranean.

The two-phase acquisition process will first see HeidelbergCement buy Italmobiliare’s 45% stake in Italcementi with a combination of shares and cash. Following approval by regulatory authorities, all remaining shareholders will receive a mandatory offer of around €10.60/share. This values Italcementi at around €7.8bn.

The purchase will be financed via a €4.4bn bridge loan, part of which would be paid back with the €1bn cash proceeds from non-core and anti-trust related assets. However, the increased indebtness is expected to delay any recent deleveraging by HeidelbergCement.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of next year subject to antitrust approvals, notably in Europe and the US.


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