Marshalls to sell quarries to Breedon Aggregates

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 | BUSINESS SALE

Marshalls has confirmed that it has plans to sell four of its quarries to Breedon Aggregates England.

The deal is expected to be completed early next month and the profits from the sale are due to be invested to reduce the firm's debts and borrowings in order to strengthen its balance sheet.

The four quarries included in the sale are Astley Moss in Greater Manchester; Mold in South Wales; Clearwell in Gloucestershire and the sand and gravel quarries owned by the firm in Dunsville.

Graham Holden, chief executive of Marshalls, explained that the quarries, which supply aggregate materials to the construction sector, are “non-core activities” for the seller.

Mr Holden commented: “Marshalls has been a niche player in the UK aggregates market for a number of years and, while the business is profitable, it remains ancillary to the core operations where our growth focus lies.”

The buyer, part of Breedon Aggregates, has announced that it has already conditionally raised £61 million through a share placing. The Marshalls quarries are expected to sell for a final consideration of up to £19 million; leaving Breedon with extra reserves to pursue further acquisitions.

Marshalls started to accrue debts last year after the prolonged period of poor economic growth and weak activity in the construction sector finally took its toll. A restructuring charge of £21.5 million also conspired to push the firm into the red and Marshalls posted a pre-tax loss in 2012 of £11.2 million, compared to a profit of £13.7 million that it recorded in the year before.

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