US: The Federal Trade Commission has forced CRH to sell the Three Forks cement plant in Montana as part of its proposed acquisition of Ash Grove Cement. The plant and its quarry will be sold to Mexico’s Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC). Also under the settlement, because the CRH cement plant in Montana currently sells a significant amount of cement into Canada through two CRH terminals in Alberta, GCC will have the option to use those terminals for three years. CRH also has agreed to purchase, at GCC’s option, cement produced at the plant for distribution in Canada for up to three years.
The commissions ruled that the acquisition would harm competition in Montana, Nebraska and Kansas. Other divestments the Irish building materials company has agreed to include selling two sand-and-gravel plants, one sand-and-gravel pit, three limestone quarries and two hot-mix asphalt plants.
Following the agreed divestments, the FTC has issued its consent for CRH’s proposed acquisition of Ash Grove Cement. No further regulatory approvals are now outstanding for the transaction. The acquisition is expected to complete in June 2018. Ireland’s CRH agreed to buy Ash Grove Cement for US$3.5bn in mid-2017.