LafargeHolcim to buy Bridgestone unit for USD3.4B

ZURICH (AFP) – Construction giant LafargeHolcim said yesterday it will snatch up roofing manufacturer Firestone Building Products (FSBP) for USD3.4 billion.

The world’s largest cement maker, born out of a 2015 merger between the French group Lafarge and Holcim of Switzerland, announced it signed an agreement to buy FSBP, a unit of Bridgestone Americas, which itself is a subsidiary of Japanese tyre giant Bridgestone.

LafargeHolcim Chief Jan Jenisch said in a statement that he was “excited to be entering the highly attractive roofing business”.

“Today’s milestone is a strategic leap on our journey to become the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, to build a world that works for people and the planet,” he said.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, FSBP makes roofing, wall and lining solutions, and raked in revenues of some USD1.8 billion last year.

Its 1,900 employees will transition to LafargeHolcim, the statement said.

The acquisition will strengthen LafargeHolcim’s position in the United States, its biggest market, it said, adding that it planned to “swiftly globalise the business”, broadening its reach to Europe and Latin America.

The acquisition, expected to be finalised in the second quarter, will be financed with cash and debt, LafargeHolcim said.

Following the news, LafargeHolcim shares rose more than one per cent in mid-morning trading while the Swiss stock exchange’s main SMI index dipped 0.4 per cent.