Fresh CRH takeover rumours ‘highly speculative’

Brokers have described fresh rumours of CRH attracting takeover interest from global peers as being “highly speculative” and “unlikely”.

A market round-up report on Wednesday’s trading session on the London Stock Exchange — in one of the British daily newspapers — mentioned rumours “of a major deal”, concerning CRH, as being “rife”.

The Dublin-headquartered building materials giant switched its primary share listing from the Iseq to London this time last year.

The report suggested that there was talk of a £19 per share takeover bid, for CRH, doing the rounds prior to London’s closing bell on Wednesday. Apparently mentioned as possible bidders were Swiss cement giant, Holcim and the China National Materials Group.

However, the same markets report also suggested that most FTSE followers believe that if any bid for a listed entity materialises, it would more likely be for Reading-headquartered gas explorer, BG Group.

A spokesperson for CRH said, yesterday, that the group does not comment on such speculation; but commentators were not taking too much notice of such rumours.

“This is highly speculative stuff, very unlikely in our view. Holcim was named as one of two potential bidders — this is a company that has pulled back massively from merger/acquisition and investments,” Davy Stockbrokers said.

CRH’s spending levels for this year are thought to have recently passed the €400m mark, with some brokers suggesting its full-year spend could come close to the €500m mark. At one of the group’s recent investor days, chief executive Myles Lee was quoted as saying that CRH could have the power to spend up to €1bn to €1.5bn over the coming 12-18 months on further investments.

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