October 25, 2019 / 7:43 AM / 21 days ago

LafargeHolcim rules out large acquisitions after paying down debt

ZURICH, Oct 25 (Reuters) - LafargeHolcim has distanced itself from bidding for BASF’s construction chemicals business, with the cement maker’s Chief Executive Jan Jenisch saying his company would not consider large deals.

After divesting some businesses and using the proceeds to pay down debt, the Swiss company would look at smaller deals and investing in its existing operations, Jenisch said.

“It’s not like we have a couple of billions we want to throw at anyone. We are quite happy to have this new solid balance sheet, and have no plans to go back to big debt,” Jenisch told reporters.

BASF’s construction chemicals business was an attractive business, Jenisch said. But a deal for the business - which analysts estimate could fetch up to 3 billion euros ($3.33 billion) - was complicated, he said without firmly ruling out an approach. “It is a difficult transaction. BASF announced the divestment a year ago. It is not an easy transaction and I like easy transactions,” he said. ($1 = 0.9001 euros) (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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