Lone Star cements deal for buy Hanson for $1.4bn

Lord Hanson, pictured in Huddersfield
Lord Hanson, pictured in Huddersfield
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A TEXAS private equity giant has struck a deal to buy a brickmaking business that was once part of the late Lord Hanson’s empire.

Germany’s HeidelbergCement agreed to sell Hanson Building Products to Lone Star Funds for $1.4bn to reduce its debt.

Heidelberg paid a reported $16bn for the business in 2007 in what was the biggest-ever deal in the building products industry.

Analysts said at the time the transaction made a lot of sense for Hanson investors but Heidelberg was paying a hefty premium and would have to work hard to make it worthwhile.

“Hanson Building Products is a multinational business with leading market positions, but the focus of its product portfolio on bricks, pressure and gravity pipes and precast is outside the core businesses of HeidelbergCement,” said Bernd Scheifele, chief executive of HeidelbergCement.

“We are pleased that Lone Star will acquire this business which as an experienced financial investor will support the sustainable development of the business going forward.”

The Maidenhead-based company employs more than 4,600 people and has a network of 107 manufacturing sites and 11 distribution facilities in the US, Canada and the UK.

In 2013 revenues totaled $1.1bn and core earnings reached $90m.

James Hanson and late business partner Gordon White built one of the world’s biggest companies with annual profits of more than £1.5bn through a string of aggressive takeovers, earning them life peerages and as place in history as the most successful Yorkshire businessmen of their era.