* In talks with CRH to invest in cement
* Aboitiz seeking opportunities in infrastructure
* Deal still subject to Lafarge, Holcim merger (Adds Aboitiz comments, background)
By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, May 15 (Reuters) - Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc said it plans to partner with Irish building supplies group CRH Plc to buy the Philippines cement business of France’s Lafarge, seeking to diversify into infrastructure.
Aboitiz, a large Philippines’ conglomerate with interests in power generation and banking, said the potential acquisition would involve four cement manufacturing plants on the main island of Luzon, a plant in central Cebu province and limestone quarries.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Venturing into infrastructure meets our growth criteria,” Aboitiz Equity CEO Erramon Aboitiz said in a statement.
“We are very optimistic of the potential gains this new core business will bring to the group amid the huge demand for infrastructure in the Philippines.”
Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd are disposing of assets to win regulatory approval for their planned merger to create the world’s biggest cement firm.
A deal would be subject to the completion of the merger and approval by the boards of both Aboitiz and CRH, the Philippine company said.
EU antitrust regulators last month cleared CRH’s planned 6.5 billion euro ($7.4 billion) purchase of a number of mostly European assets from Lafarge and Holcim.
$1 = 0.8770 euros Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Edwina Gibbs