Hanson Building Products, one of the UK’s largest producers of clay bricks, has been sold as part of a deal worth £900m.
The group has been bought by private equity firm Lone Star and includes Hanson operations in North America. HeidelbergCement has owned Hanson since 2007, and employs almost 1,500 people at 18 production sites in the UK.
The rest of Hanson UK, including operations in crushed stone, sand, asphalt and cement, will remain as part of HeidelbergCement.
The deal includes the Thermalite brand of aircrete blocks as well as block paving and precast concrete products., the Structherm business, brick plants at Measham in Derbyshire, Desford in Leicestershire, Wilnecote in Staffordshire and Kirton in Nottinghamshire, plus precast operations in Derby and Hoveringham near Nottingham.
HeidelbergCement, which employs 57,000 people across five continents and is based in Heidelberg, will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its debts.
HeidelbergCement chief executive Dr Bernd Scheifele said Hanson Building Products was a multi-national business with leading market positions, but that the focus of its products was outside the core businesses of HeidelbergCement.
“We are pleased that Lone Star will acquire this business which as an experienced financial investor will support the sustainable development of the business going forward,” he said.
HeidelbergCement shares suffered a catastrophic blow when its then owner Adolf Merkle committed suicide on Monday December 29 2008. The group is believed to have been ready to accept offers for Hanson ever since.