Breedon Aggregates challenges material producers

Published:  20 August, 2010

LONDON: A new company is emerging to challenge UK building material producers. Peter Tom, the ex-chairman and chief executive of Aggregate Industries is using his investment vehicle Marwyn Materials to buy Breedon Holdings, the quarrying and aggregates business.

The £160m deal would provide his company with an "excellent launch pad from which to make further acquisitions and consolidate the smaller end of the UK market, and we already have several acquisitions in our sights or under negotiation", he told the Financial Times.

"Opportunities to secure such a substantial position in the UK building materials market come along rarely," Tom said.

The UK building materials market is dominated by the five global companies: Holcim, Lafarge, Cemex, Heidelberg and Tarmac. However, the majority of the large building materials companies are highly leveraged and steering clear of acquisitions.

Marwyn said it would look to target some of the 200 smaller UK aggregate companies while prices were cheap in the wake of the construction industry's worst year since 1974.

The new company, called Breedon Aggregates, will have 29 quarries, 19 asphalt plants and 27 concrete plants in England and Scotland and will be the largest UK domestic building materials group.

Tom was formerly chief executive and chair of Aggregate Industries, the UK's largest aggregates producer until its acquisition by Swiss construction group Holcim in 2005.

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