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UK Regulator Invites Comments on Breedon's Cemex Asset Buy Before Final Ruling

By Ian Walker

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday invited comments from interested parties into Breedon Group PLC's acquisition of assets from Cemex Investments Ltd., before making a final ruling on the deal.

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said on Sept. 10 that undertakings offered by Breedon Group--or a modified version of them--may be enough to satisfy its competition concerns.

However, before making a final ruling the CMA has offered interested parties the opportunity to record their views and has set a deadline of Nov. 25. It then has until Jan. 4, 2021 to decide whether to accept the undertakings offered by Breedon, or a modified version thereof.

The regulator said in August that Breedon Group's completed acquisition of certain assets and operations from Cemex SAB de CV raised competition concerns and sought undertakings to address them. Specifically, the CMA said the deal could lessen competition in the building-materials market, and particularly in 15 local markets across the U.K. where the two companies compete closely with limited competition from other suppliers.

The U.K. construction-materials company has offered to sell certain assets, and said Monday that it is selling 10 ready-mixed concrete plants, an asphalt plant and associated aggregates depot in England, as well as two quarries and a cement terminal in Scotland to Tillicoultry Quarries Ltd. for 12.2 million pounds ($16.2 million).

Breedon said completion of the disposals is conditional upon confirmation from the regulator that it will accept this undertaking. If approved, the company expects to complete the sale by the end of this year.

Breedon agreed to buy around 100 Cemex sites across the U.K. for GBP155 million in January, in cash plus the assumption of GBP23 million in lease liabilities.

Breedon shares at 1420 GMT were down 0.20 pence, or 0.2%, at 81.60 pence.

Write to Ian Walker at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 11, 2020 09:46 ET (14:46 GMT)

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