February 2008 – AggBeat
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to analyze the effects of proposed activities but also allows categorical exclusions for types of activities that routinely do not have a significant impact on the environment, according to NSSGA. Such actions do not have to undergo an environmental assessment or a more lengthy environmental impact statement. It has been EPA’s practice to conduct NEPA reviews for first-time NPDES permits covering new sources of pollution, according to the report. The new rule became effective Oct. 19.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Cemex announced on Nov. 30 the sale of its operations in Arizona and Florida, as required by the U.S. Department of Justice in association with the Rinker Group acquisition, to CRH plc. The Florida operations included 26 ready-mix concrete plants and six block plants. The Arizona operations were composed of two quarries and five ready-mix concrete locations. The value of the transaction was approximately $250 million. No other transaction terms or conditions were provided. The transaction culminated after numerous discussions between the two entities regarding a much larger and broader scope of assets that totaled almost $4.5 billion, including Cemex’s concrete pipe business, some of its materials and products operations in certain regions, its cement plants in Wampum and Fairborn, and its gypsum wallboard distribution business in Florida, as well as various assets in Spain, Austria, and Hungary. No rationale was provided as to why the broader transaction discussion did not occur.
On Dec.10, Lafarge agreed to acquire Orascom Construction Industries Cement Group, the Egyptian cement subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, for a consideration of approximately $15.0 billion including the assumption of net debt valued at approximately $2.1 billion. This purchase price represents a multiple of 11.6x 2008 Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) and 10.3x 2009E EBITDA post-synergies. The acquisition will strengthen Lafarge’s global market presence in cement and also provide it with an entry into some higher-growth markets in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.
—by Bill Watkins, managing director, National City Capital Markets. Watkins is a contributing editor and may be reached at 216-222-7134 or at William.Watkins@NationalCity.com.