Irish Conglomerate Buying Ash Grove

More than a century of Sunderland family ownership will come to an end when Dublin-based CRH plc acquires Ash Grove Cement Co., the Overland Park cement manufacturer announced late Wednesday.

Ash Grove has entered into a definitive merger agreement with CRH, a deal that values Ash Grove at $3.5 billion. News of the acquisition comes just weeks after Chairman Charlie Sunderland turned over day-to-day executive duties at Ash Grove by naming Randall Vance as president and CEO.  The sale is expected to close late this year or early 2018, subject to stockholder approval, regulatory approval and other customary conditions.

“CRH, as our largest customer, has enjoyed a close and highly productive relationship with Ash Grove for many decades,” Sunderland said in a news release announcing the transaction. “The board of directors believes that CRH will be able to take Ash Grove to its next phase of development after 135 years in operation and over a century under the stewardship of the Sunderland family.”

Ash Grove has long been a leader in the cement industry, providing portland and masonry cements used in the construction of  highways, bridges, commercial and industrial complexes, residential construction and other uses. In 2016, Ash Grove shipped 8.2 million tons of cement from eight cement plants located throughout the Midwest, Texas and Western United States. The company also operates 52 ready-mixed concrete plants, 25 sand and gravel plants, 20 limestone quarries and nine packaged products plants.