July 16, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 7 months ago

REFILE-BAML in pole position for financing Blackstone’s CRH unit buy

(Fixes typo in headline)

By Claire Ruckin

LONDON, July 16 (LPC) - Bank of America Merrill Lynch looks set to take a leading role on a debt financing backing private equity firm Blackstone’s €1.64bn acquisition of Irish building materials supplier CRH’s European distribution arm, banking sources said.

Dublin-based CRH put the underperforming unit, which operates in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Benelux, under strategic review last year and in April hired Bank of America to launch a sale.

The sale process drew interest from buyout funds including Advent, Lone Star and CVC but Blackstone emerged as the winner, it was announced on July 16.

BAML is expected to take a leading role on the leveraged financing backing the buyout, alongside other banks. The financing is expected to total around €1bn, with more details likely to emerge next week, the sources said.

Blackstone declined to comment on the financing.

BAML provided a staple financing during the sale process, open to any potential buyer, totalling 6.25 times the unit’s Ebitda.

With the sale, the Dublin-based company, which provides cement, asphalt and other building materials, will completely exit the distribution business as it tries to improve core profit margins.

CRH, which employs about 90,000 people in more than 30 countries, said it would use the proceeds from the sale for further acquisitions and for its ongoing share buyback program.

Over the last few years, CRH has been selling businesses that have not been delivering and buying attractive ones.

The deal with Blackstone includes additional consideration of up to €50m, which CRH would receive on completion of certain conditions, the company said. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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