Switzerland’s Holcim plans to separate US operations

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim is seen at its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, October 26, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reuters) -Swiss construction materials giant Holcim (SIX:) is close to a deal to separate its North American businesses that could be worth more than $30 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The deal could be announced next week, provided plans don’t fall through at the last minute, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Holcim did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Holcim has nearly 350 locations in 43 U.S. states and employs 7,000 people, according to its website.

In July last year, the Swiss company said North America was on track to account for around 40% of group sales, rising to around $12 billion, up from $10 billion a year earlier.

The Swiss cement maker is banking on new business in the United States from manufacturers moving production home to avoid supply chain bottlenecks and take advantage of government subsidies.

North America remains an attractive market for Holcim’s investments and acquisitions, the head of the cement maker’s European region told Reuters this month.

“Today 40% of our business is represented by North America. And we have been present in North America for over 50 years. So, we have a very strong geographic presence in the United States, but also in Canada,” Miljan Gutovic said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“We have many initiatives across North America to increase capacity to eliminate bottlenecks in our factories. Additionally, we are looking at mergers and acquisitions,” Gutovic added.

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