Hanson break-up

Published:  24 June, 2009

BEDFORD: Brickwork contractor Irvine Whitlock is up for sale as part of the break-up of the Hanson's building product operation.

The firm's owner, Heidelberg Cement, announced last month that it would sell £1.7bn of assets to help pay off bank loans.†

Heidelberg Cement was expected to sell Hanson as a whole but is splitting it into separate businesses. A spokesman said: "The UK division as a whole is not up for sale. We're focusing on cement, aggregates and concrete and other downstream materials."

The businesses joining Irvine Whitlock for sale include the offsite construction firm Structherm, block paving manufacturer Formpave, block manufacturer Thermalite, and Hanson's brick business.

The only parts to be kept will be packed products such as aggregate and cement, along with the aggregate blocks business. These will be integrated into the aggregates and asphalt, cement and ready mix concrete divisions.

Heidelberg Cement bought Hanson in 2007 for almost £8bn, but the move saddled it with debts of £5bn, while the profitability of the business has plummeted.

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