Concrete Products

MAY 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Judging by the positive effect he and cabinet members have had on business beyond stock market metrics, Pres- ident Donald Trump had cause to march toward his 100 th day in office confident and content. Consider "Back to Basics," a proclamation Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt outlined last month for a group of coal miners unaccustomed to friendly visits from White House representatives (note page 8); or, House Joint Reso- lution 37, whereby President Trump and Capitol Hill allies have kneecapped aspects of Barack Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which stymies compe- tition in federal project contracting (page 10). Another agency executing White House directives, the Federal Trade Commis- sion, detailed a new philosophy on core activities like merger and acquisition review, intent on eliminating "wasteful, legacy regulations and processes that have outlived their usefulness" (page 23). FTC Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Affairs moves dovetail two deals—one likely, the other squelched— between HeidelbergCement AG and Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. Nearly 10 years on from their Hanson Plc and Rinker Group takeovers, both companies continue to sharpen North American and overseas cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete holdings. Through Lehigh Hanson and its Pacific Northwest business, Cadman Materials Inc., HeidelbergCement is the latest suitor for Cemex USA assets. A mid-April agreement will see Cadman add 14 ready mixed, aggregate and asphalt opera- tions in Washington and Oregon, netting Cemex proceeds on top of those from recent deals with Eagle Materials, GCC of America, Oldcastle Architectural and Quikrete Holdings. The Pacific Northwest properties accompanied Rinker Materials, which Cemex acquired two years after RMC Group. The latter was the source of three Cemex Croatia cement plants that Duna Dráva Cement (DDC)—an import-driven joint venture Heidelberg and German peer Schwenk operate in Croatia—was set to acquire until the European Commission (EC) weighed in. Less than two weeks before the Pacific Northwest agreement, the EC barred the Cemex Croatia sale, citing the European Union Merger Regulation and concern that the transaction would significantly reduce competition in gray cement markets. "We had clear evidence this takeover would have led to price increases in Croatia, which could have adversely affected the construction sector," noted Commissioner and Competition Policy Head Margrethe Vestager. In light of the companies' only proposed nod to regulators—the opening of a cement terminal to potential competitors—she added, "HeidelbergCement and Schwenk failed to offer appropriate remedies ... Therefore, the Commission has decided to prohibit the takeover to protect competitive markets for Croatian customers and businesses. We will continue enforcing competition rules equally across the European Union, no matter where companies are based." The Commission paints Cemex Croatia as the largest cement producer in a country where DDC and HeidelbergCement are the top importers, sourcing powder from plants in Italy, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Transfer of Cemex Croatia to DDC, the EC contends, would eliminate "competition between com- panies that were competing head-to-head for the business of Croatian cement customers and could have led to a dominant position in the markets. The combined shares of the parties would have been around 45–50 percent in the markets and reached more than 70 percent in parts." While the Cemex Croatia and Cadman-bound Pacific Northwest plants repre- sent different asset classes and warrant specific criteria for regulators measuring competitive effects, it is no surprise that two companies entrenched in econ- omies subject to EC and Trump administration oversight would hit red and (probable) green lights, respectively, on the road to business efficiency and shareholder returns. EDITORIAL BY DON MARSH MINING MEDIA INTERNATIONAL EDITORIAL OFFICE 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306 Jacksonville, Florida 32224 U.S.A. P: +1.904.721.2925 F: +1.904.721.2930 EDITOR Don Marsh, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Josephine Smith, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Florman, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Steve Fiscor, MINING MEDIA INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE OFFICE 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B-1 Denver, Colorado 80231 U.S.A. P: +1.303.283.0640 F: +1.303.283.0641 PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Peter Johnson, U.S., CANADA SALES Bill Green, GERMAN SALES Gerd Strasman, LATIN AMERICA SALES Sylvia Palma, SHOW MANAGER Tanna Holzer, PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Fitts, Concrete Products, Volume 120, Issue 5, (ISSN 0010-5368, USPS 128-180) is published monthly by Mining Media Inc., 10 Sedgwick Drive, Englewood, Colorado 80113 ( Periodicals postage paid at Englewood Colorado, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Email: cir- Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calander, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year $72.00, 2 year $119.00, 3 year $161.00. For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden, Suite B1, Denver, Colorado 80231 USA; call +1.303.283.0640 (USA) or visit www. ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and ProQuest. For microform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734-761-4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Concrete Products, PO Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-828. REPRINTS: Mining Media Inc, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, CO 80231 USA; P: +1.303.283.0640, F: 1+303.283.0641, PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. To obtain further information, visit COPYRIGHT 2017: Concrete Products ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 4 • May 2017 Cemex, Heidelberg incur antitrust policy on both sides of the Atlantic

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