Good products, bad times.

Hanson: back on the market for £1bn

Published:  26 May, 2009

GERMANY: HeidelbergCement is understood to be seeking bidders for the sale of Hanson UK. It announced its intention to sell £1.7bn of assets to rid itself of debt and pay back the banks.

 

The parent company has appointed Frankfurt-based Commerzbank to handle the sale, according to the Daily Mail.

Heidelberg bought Hanson Global for £7.8bn in 2007. The company employs 6500 people in the UK. The purchase left Heidelberg with debts of £5.3bn which have become increasingly difficult to service with the downturn in construction.

The company is owned by the family of Adolf Merckle, the German billionaire who committed suicide in January. Hanson UK is expected to be broken up instead of being sold to one bidder. It has four divisions – aggregates and asphalt, concrete, building products and cement.

HeidelbergCement has already sold its asphalt operating line in Australia as part of its ongoing divestment programme. The 50% stake in Pioneer Road Service (PRS) and the whole of Specialised Tanker Transport were acquired by Fulton Hogan, a civil contracting quarrying and asphalt producing company. The Australian competition authorities have approved the sale.

HeidelbergCement may also sell its stake of Indocement-sources. The company has a 65% stake in Indocement, but might still want to retain 51% control over Indonesia's second biggest cement maker, according to market sources. Indocement is worth around $270m, based on its current market capitalisation.

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