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. . . but sells core pipe, manhole and culvert manufacturing arm to new rival CPM Group

MATERIALS

HANSON has sold off its core pipe, manhole and culvert production interests to rival producer CPM Group.

In a rumoured seven-figure deal, CPM acquires Hanson Building Products'manufacturing bases in Pollington, Humberside, Catterick, North Yorkshire and Frome, Somerset.

The newly created group, formerly Shropshire-based manufacturer Grange Rexim, snapped up Hanson's production facilities in a move that transforms the manufacturer into one of the UK's biggest concrete pipe producers.

According to one industry insider, the purchase has pushed CPM to the forefront of the sector. He said: 'It is a compelling move.

'They have catapulted themselves to the top of the concrete pipe and culvert league.'

All of Hanson's 150 former employees working at the plants have been transferred over to the new owners, according to Hanson Building Products marketing manager Bryan Garratt.

He said: 'The company has sold its drainage division interests in Somerset, Humberside and North Yorkshire.

'The new owners have taken on all the staff.'

Mr Garratt revealed that the deal followed an unsolicited approach from CPM directors earlier in the year.

Hanson accepted the deal after CPM put forward an offer the giant deemed acceptable.

CPM trading and sales director Bob Smiley said the deal cemented the group's position in the market and added the priority was to move the company forward.

He said: 'We are all experts in the concrete pipes and manholes sector and we want to keep on improving and developing.'

But some industry insiders were unsure if the group would make inroads into the market.

They claimed the sector was already well served with producers and that contractors would continue to purchase from their existing suppliers.

One said: 'I really cannot see CPM shaking up the sector to any great extent.

'Most contractors will carry on buying their products from their existing local suppliers regardless of a name change.'

Mr Smiley disagreed and claimed the purchase would boost the specialist areas of Grange Rexim and CPM.

He said: 'We are aiming at the whole of the UK market and will expand and grow further.'