Summit Materials makes $3.8bn rival bid for Ash Grove Cement

Updated 07 October 2017
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Summit Materials makes $3.8bn rival bid for Ash Grove Cement

DUBLIN: Summit Materials, a US construction firm set up by former CRH executives, has made a rival offer for Ash Grove Cement, which CRH has agreed to pay $3.5 billion for, a source said.
Ash Grove said on Friday it had received a bid valued at $3.7-$3.8 billion which it expects to result in a better offer to the deal struck last month with CRH, the world’s third-largest building materials supplier.
A source familiar with the matter said the unnamed bidder was Summit, which could not be reached for comment, and it had submitted its bid on Thursday. The offer is being considered by Ash Grove’s board, the source added.
Ireland’s CRH said that its proposal remains in place, subject to approval from Ash Grove shareholders.
Ash Grove has set a meeting on Nov. 1 for shareholders to vote on the agreement with CRH, which its board unanimously approved last month, but has extended its go-shop period during which it can look for other potential buyers to Oct. 20, the cement company said in a statement.
Prior to setting up fast-growing Summit in 2009, the Denver materials group’s chief executive Thomas Hill headed up CRH’s North American arm and went on to poach a number of other senior US-based CRH executives.
Summit’s bid would surpass its own value of $3.65 billion. CRH, which has a market capitalization of $26.3 billion and said last month that it had around €5 billion available to spend on acquisitions over the next 18-24 months, made an all-cash bid.
CRH is also Ash Grove’s largest customer and would be owed a $131 million termination fee if the Kansas-based company sells to another party.
“Summit Materials opportunistic offer of an Ash Grove merger will likely see investors decide between a cash offer at a 60 percent premium or a merger that gives no certainty to a cash exit price for large Ash Grove investors,” said Darren McKinley, analyst at Dublin-based Merrion Stockbrokers.
“Given CRH’s position as Ash Grove’s largest customer, they are well placed to determine whether a higher offer makes sense or whether to let Ash Grove shareholders decide whether they want cash in hand now or to merge with a company that currently doesn’t pay a dividend.”
— Reuters


Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

Updated 19 April 2018
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Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

  • Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
  • The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s economy.

Tripoli: Fuel smuggling is costing Libya more than $750 million each year and harming its economy and society, the head of the National Oil Company in the conflict-riddled country said.
“The impact of fuel smuggling is destroying the fabric of the country,” NOC president Mustafa Sanalla said according to the text of a speech delivered on Wednesday at a conference on oil and fuel theft in Geneva.
“The fuel smugglers and thieves have permeated not only the militias which control much of Libya, but also the fuel distribution companies which are supposed to bring cheap fuel to Libyan citizens,” he said.
“The huge sums of money available from smuggling have corrupted large parts of Libyan society,” he added.
The backbone of the North African country’s economy, Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Before the revolt Libya, with estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, used to produce 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
But output fell to less than 500,000 bpd between 2014 and 2016 due to violence around production facilities and export terminals as rival militias fought for control of Africa’s largest crude reserves.
No oil was exported from Libya’s main ports until September 2016 with the reopening of the Ras Lanuf terminal in the country’s so-called oil crescent.
The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s moribund economy.
Sanalla urged Libya’s “friends, neighbors but above all the Libyan people themselves... to do everything they can... to eradicate the scourge of fuel theft and fuel smuggling.”