Building materials group CRH has bought a 26% shareholding in Shanghai-listed Jilin Yatai group's cement operations (Yatai Cement) for €200m.
The agreement includes an option for CRH to increase its holding in Yatai Cement to 49% by acquiring a further 23% shareholding after four years.
CRH will have representation at financial, operational and board level and will actively participate in the management of Yatai Cement.
Yatai Cement has four cement plants and two grinding stations in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces in north eastern China, with a current cement capacity of nine million tonnes per annum.
A major investment programme to double annual cement capacity to 18 million tonnes is already underway with completion scheduled for 2009. With the expansion, Yatai Cement will secure its position as a top-10 cement supplier in China.