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7/16, 10:03 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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CRH to sell European distribution to Blackstone

Construction materials producer CRH Plc said on Tuesday private equity funds managed by Blackstone Group Inc. would buy its distribution business in Europe. The enterprise value of the assets, which normally includes debt and other items, is €1.64 billion, according to the update. Chief executive Albert Manifold highlighted the strategy to streamline operations and focus on active portfolio management and create value for shareholders.

The step toward "more sustainable returns" is opening the way for acquisitions and capital returns, the Dublin-based company said. A strategic review resulted in the decision to exit distribution "across the group," it added. The deal announced today is for the so-called general builders merchants unit in six countries in Western Europe including sanitary heating and plumbing, CRH noted and revealed the business had proforma earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €115 billion last year on €3.7 billion in turnover. Pretax profit came in at €124 million while gross assets amounted to €1.9 billion, it added.

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