Friday, May 18, 2007

Who Owns What: Update

The news that Hanson is to be taken over by Heidelberg Cement in an £8billion deal virtually 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 slice 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 and a constituent of the first FT30 index in 1953, taken over by Lafarge (large French conglomerate) in 2001

ARC: taken over by Hanson, which already included the old London Brick Company, Thermalite and the old Marshall’s precast floors business. Now of course Hanson the predator has itself become prey.

Castle Cement: now part of Heidelberg Cement, quoted in Germany, and about to be merged with the Hanson interests, monopolies commission permitting.

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

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