Blackstone in advanced talks to buy CRH’s European distribution arm

US private equity giant Blackstone is in advanced talks to buy CRH’s European distribution arm, which the Irish construction supplies giant put up for sale earlier this year.

The Bloomberg news agency said Blackstone is now in advanced negotiations on a deal. The unit is reckoned to be worth around €2bn.  Private equity firms Advent, Lone Star and CVC had all previously been named as potential buyers.

In 2017 CRH sold Allied Building Products, its US distribution business, to Beacon Roofing Supply for $2.6bn.

CRH has a long history of buying and selling businesses.

CRH boss Albert Manifold said in February that the company had by then sold 35pc of the businesses it owned when he took over in 2013 and that it would continue an acquisition strategy that saw it buy a business “every eight or nine days” in 2018.

He said 2019 would be a “year when we consolidate and deliver” rather than target a major acquisition, but added CRH will continue a bolt-on acquisition strategy “focused on filling in the gaps around the business.”

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