CRH remains coy over reports of merger with French partner

Irish-headquartered building materials and cement products giant, CRH yesterday declined to comment on reports it had signed a collaboration agreement with its joint venture partner in France, Samse, to transfer its 45% stake in Doras to Samse.

CRH remains coy over reports of merger with French partner

Doras the French company which operates specialist and general builders merchants, and which is jointly-owned by the two companies, is particularly prominent in the Burgundy and Franche Comté regions in eastern France.

News agency, Reuters yesterday reported that CRH France Distribution, a subsidiary of the world-leading Irish group, had agreed a deal to transfer its stake in Doras to Samse, which already holds a 55% share in the company.

The story also suggested that as part of the deal, CRH, which already holds a 21% share in Samse, would be given an option to acquire a majority stake in its joint venture partner by 2020, as a result of the deal. According to the report, Samse said the rationale behind the deal was to improve collaboration between CRH and its majority shareholder, Dumont Investment, which holds a greater than 50% stake in the company.

The potential merger between CRH and Samse would create a strongly competitive business with complementary portfolios that would position it as a major player in the French market and see its joint network extend across nearly 400 outlets.

CRH meanwhile, reported a dramatic turnaround in fortunes last month, with pre-tax profits of €61m for the first half of the year; up from a loss of €71m in the same period last year.

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