The news that Hanson is to be taken out by Heidelberg Cement in an £8billion deal brings to a close the British ownership of its building materials sector. Whilst the City scribes have been using the takeover as an excuse to rerun the colourful history of Hanson Trust, they have largely ignored the fact that a whole sector of our industry has disappeared from our stock market in less than ten years.
Simultaneously, the much smaller Baggeridge Brick is being taken over by the Austrian brick giant Weinerberger in an acquisition worth just £87million.
The rout is all but complete. What’s left? It looks to me that there are now only two medium sized companies quoted in London that are active in this area. They are:
• Ennstone, the aggregates and readymix business, worth £180million
• Marshalls, the paving and landscaping people, worth £500million
Here follows a list of what went where.
RMC: readymix concrete and cement. Now owned by Cemex of Mexico. Also own Russell roof tiles and Rugby Cement and Thermabate
Blue Circle: Britain’s original cement company, an original constituent of the FT30 in 1953, taken over by Lafarge (large French conglomerate) in 2001
ARC: part of Hanson, which includes Hanson Brick (the old London Brick Company, makers of the LBC) and Thermalite and the old Marshall’s Floors business. Now Hanson is about to be taken over, see above.
Castle Cement: now part of Heidelberg Cement, quoted in Germany
Bradstone: a brand owned by Aggregate Industries, a UK asphalt and concrete conglomerate which was itself taken over by Holcim of Switzerland in March 2005 for £1.8bn
Tarmac: now the Industrial Minerals Division of Anglo American plc, which includes Tarmac Topfloor and Durox
Ibstock Brick: taken over by CRH, large Irish conglomerate, in 1999
Celcon: Owned by H+H International A/S, a Danish company.
Baggeridge Brick: about to be taken over by Weinerberger of Austria
Redland: taken over by Lafarge
BPB: once British Gypsum, bought by St.Gobain in 2005. As well as plasters and plasterboard, it owns Artex and Rawlplug
Marley: now owned by Etex Group of Belgium
Boulton & Paul Joinery: originally bought by Rugby cement, sold to privately owned US joinery business Jeld Wen in 1999
John Carr: another independent joinery producer, also owned by first Rugby and merged with Boulton & Paul, now subsumed into Jeld Wen
Magnet Joinery: once quoted, now owned by the Swedish kitchen company, Nobia
Premdor Crosby: owned by Masonite of Canada, quoted in Toronto
Anglian Windows: based in Norwich, went public in 1992, MBO in 2001
Velux: private Danish company
Osma: always owned by Dutch group Wavin. Wavin is short for WAter and VINyl! Used to be part owned by Shell but I now jointly owned by Overijssel Water Board (who started it in the 1950s) and CVC Capital Partners, private equity.
Terrain: sold by Caradon to Geberit. Swiss plumbing supplies company, in 1999
Hepworth: bought out by Vaillant, sold on to Wavin
Baxi Potterton: now part of a plc owned by private equity, includes Heatrae Sadia, makers of Megaflo
Aqualisa: part of Baxi group
Myson Radiators: owned by Rettig, a privately owned Finnish company
Pilkington: leading glass manufacturers, bought by Nippon Glass in 2006
Ideal Stelrad: based in Hull, once part of Caradon, sold to HSBC private equity in 2002
MK Electric: part of Caradon group, which seems to have disappeared
Celotex: private UK company, MBO from larger American business using the same name
Kingspan: Irish public company
Jablite: brand name of Vencil Resil, taken over by Synbra Group BV from Holland
Rockwool: Danish public company
Sadolin and Sikkens: part of European conglomerate Akzo Nobel which includes what was left of Courtaulds and Crown Berger paints
Dulux: still part of ICI, as are Cuprinol and Hammerite
Jewson: UK’s largest builder’s merchant, owned by St Gobain
Travis Perkins: Britain’s No 2 builder’s merchant, independent, bought Wickes in 2005