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Masonry unit developer exploits clays’ geopolymer binder potential

Sources: Watershed Materials, Napa, Calif.; CP staff

A National Science Foundation-backed building materials technology startup, Watershed Materials, reports a high-strength masonry unit production process using natural mineral-based geopolymers. Recently identified reactive compounds allow for molding universally available clays into what the company contends is a sustainable alternative to conventional concrete masonry.

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Oldcastle parent consummates $7 billion Holcim (Canada), companion asset deal

Sources: CRH Plc, Dublin; CP staff

CRH has closed on a portfolio of Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Ltd. cement, concrete and aggregate production assets in 10 countries across the Americas and Europe. At a $7.2 billion enterprise value, the transaction is among the largest to date involving publicly traded, global heavy building materials companies—trailing Cemex-Rinker and HeidelbergCement-Hanson ($15 billion–$16 billion; 2007) and Lafarge-Orascom ($12 billion, 2008).

Read more: Oldcastle parent consummates $7 billion Holcim (Canada), companion asset deal

Evidence dearth sinks antitrust inquiry of European cement leaders

Sources: European Commission, Brussels; CP staff

Citing “evidence not sufficiently conclusive,” the European Commission has closed a four-and-a-half-year investigation of integrated cement and concrete producers serving Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

Read more: Evidence dearth sinks antitrust inquiry of European cement leaders