The past quarter within the building material, cement, aggregate & industrial mineral industry has seen a multitude of mergers and acquisitions, which have affected nearly every continent on the planet. With such extensive merger and acquisition activity comes instability and heightened activity. For some, these investments are a chance for them to climb the ladder, move in a new direction, step sideways into a new challenge or take that jump into a new company. For others, the downsizing of operations, the closure of others and the merger of certain operations or corporate offices will result in redundancies or unsuitable opportunities presented.
The LafargeHolcim merger is the most obvious, and the largest, of these mergers and during the build up towards the merger in July 2015, the candidate market saw an influx of passive interest from staff at all levels of both organisations. The majority of interest in new opportunities came from corporate level and senior members of both organisations globally due to many of the operations coming under interest due to monopoly legislations.
There were major changes in the top five cement producers globally due to the LafargeHolcim merger and the subsequent €6.5bn investment of the offloaded assets by Irish building material company, CRH. CRH aggressively expanded its footprint into Eastern Europe, Brazil and the Philippines and made international news, due to its impact on the FTSE100. These investments created a range of exciting opportunities for some of the best candidates in the market to join an exciting organisation with seemingly deep pockets. Further excitement was seen with the announcement of the Heidelberg Cement 45% share acquisition of Italian heavyweight Italcementi. How this will affect the market over the coming months will be exciting to watch as Heidelberg expands it reach into further emerging markets in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Finally, the market has seen the attempted takeover of Swiss industrial firm Sika AG by Saint-Gobain. Let’s see where this will lead.