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Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) have outlined consent agreements approving the scope or direction of Lafarge North America, Holcim (US) Inc. and Holcim (Canada) Inc. operations following the Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Ltd. merger. The mega-deal is set to close in July as an exchange offer commences this month: 10 Lafarge shares for nine Holcim shares, netting LafargeHolcim.

Deals in ready mixed concrete and cement production this past month assure 2015 watershed status on an industry timeline. A true market leader in ready mixed rose in metro New York and New Jersey, with commanding presence on both sides of the Hudson River, while an integrated player with strong growth ambitions became only the second U.S. operator set to pick up major cement production and distribution assets from a multinational peer.

The rumbling began late last year among units at Allied Stone and Cordova Dredge, businesses of Illinois aggregate producer Riverstone Group. Members of each petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to conduct elections on maintaining International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 as their collective bargaining representative.

The first quarter of 2015 proved a lively financial period for public and would-be public heavy building materials operators, who commanded investor attention the world over.

 

Portland Cement Association Chief Economist Ed Sullivan reported at the 2015 International Builders’ Show last month that housing starts will increase 20 percent this year—to 1.2 million units, up from roughly 950,000 units in 2014. The multifamily sector should see a 12 percent jump from last year’s levels, good for 400,000 unit starts. Apartment and condominium building will exhibit continued strength over the next five years, he added, as demographic trends reshape entry and exit patterns of the single-family unit market.