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Hanson takes full control of Midland Quarry Products

Hanson is to take ownership of Tarmac’s stake in Leicestershire-based asphalt and quarrying firm Midland Quarry Products.

Tarmac was required by the Competition Commission to sell its stake in MQP in order to clear its joint venture with Lafarge.

Tarmac and Lafarge completed the formation of a 50:50 joint venture in January this year.

In November, CN reported that 250 jobs were being cut at Hanson as part of a restructure that also saw 14 plants and quarries closed and other facilities mothballed.

Hanson, part of the HeidelbergCement Group, already owns 50 per cent of MQP and is exercising its contractual pre-emption right to acquire Tarmac’s shares.

The right means Hanson can pre-empt any sale of shares by matching the price agreed with Hope Valley Holdings. The transaction will be completed on April 2.

Hanson UK chief executive Patrick O’Shea said: “We are taking this opportunity to assume full ownership of MQP.

“It is a strong and well-run business with good people and good assets and is well placed to benefit from an upturn in construction activity.

“We plan to develop and grow the business and maintain and build on its high levels of product quality and customer service.”

He insisted MQP would retain its identity and continue to be run independently. “The message to employees and customers is that it will be business as usual,” he said.

MQP produces aggregates, asphalt, rail ballast and surface dressing. Projects the firm has worked on include RAF Barkston heath, flood alleviation, rail and road schemes.

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