Aggregate Industries has become the newest entrant to the cement production market in the UK following the merger between building materials firms Lafarge and Holcim.
The Leicestershire-based company, now part of the LafargeHolcim group, has taken ownership of Lafarge cement plants in Cauldon, Staffordshire and Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The transfer of ownership of the two plants, along with a quarry at Cauldon Low and a cement terminal at Belfast Docks, was finalised on Monday 20th July 2015 and also involves the transfer of 250 employees from the existing operations to Aggregate Industries.
Anglo American last week completed the sale of its 50 per cent stake in Lafarge Tarmac to LafargeHolcim. The cement giant has announced it intends to sell its Lafarge Tarmac assets to Irish materials firm CRH, though decided to keep the two cement plants in Cauldon and Cookstown.
Aggregate Industries, originally owned by Holcim, said becoming a cement producer and supplier “is the final piece in the jigsaw”, providing a full range of construction materials to its customers.
Pat Ward, CEO, Aggregate Industries, said: “These are exciting times for Aggregate Industries.
“Along with the wider benefits of being part of the new LafargeHolcim group, the integration of cement production represents a significant strategic opportunity for us.
“We’re now able to offer our customers the full range of construction materials and solutions, while maintaining our high levels of customer service.”
The business has chosen to continue with the Lafarge cement brand for its bulk cement products, although some of the bagged products will be renamed in due course.
The new cement division will be led by Joe Hudson, managing director, cement & concrete products. He joins Aggregate Industries from Lafarge, where he has worked in a number of key functional and operational roles since 2001.
Hudson was heavily involved in preparations for the LafargeHolcim merger as group senior vice president for organisation & development at Lafarge and has experience of running a cement business, having previously worked as MD/CEO for Lafarge Wapco Plc in Nigeria.