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CRH sells Brazilian cement business for $218m

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Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH
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Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH

Building materials group CRH has sold its Brazilian cement business for $218m (€185m).

The business has been acquired by Buzzi Unicem (BZU), strengthening BZU’s growing presence in Brazil where it operates a joint venture with Grupo Ricardo Brennand.

“For CRH, the disposal sees it further reduce its footprint in the emerging markets,” Robert Gardiner, analyst at Davy, said.

“For now, disposal proceeds will likely be used to build on its already significant financial capacity,” he added.

CRH operates three full-cycle cement plants and two grinding plants, all of which are located in the southeast of Brazil.

Ireland’s biggest company sold its Indian joint venture last year for around €300m, and in September sold its cement business in La Reunion, according to reports.

Last month it was reported that CRH is looking at a number of businesses in Australia.

The company already has a presence in the market following a 2018 acquisition.

Among the firms said to be on the construction giant's radar is Boral, which has a market capitalisation of AU$5.2bn (€3.2bn). CRH was linked to the company - an integrated construction materials and building products manufacturer and supplier - earlier this year.

When contacted by the Irish Independent in September a spokesperson for CRH said: "We do not comment on speculation regarding our development intentions."

The company spent €727m last year, on just over 60 acquisitions and investments.

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