August 10, 2009 / 2:38 PM / 8 years ago

HeidelbergCement set to sell Hanson U.K. units

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LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Debt-laden German cement maker HeidelbergCement AG (HEIG.DE) is in the "early stages" of selling non-core operations at its Hanson U.K. business, a spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

"It's a long-term strategy. It may make more sense to hang onto them for another couple of years. The UK brick market has fallen by nearly 50 percent," said David Weeks at Hanson U.K.

The bulk of Hanson U.K. Building Products operations, which makes up around 20 percent of turnover and includes its brick unit, will be sold.

"We're at the very early stages. We don't even have information memorandums drawn up for any of the businesses. We're at the stage of sounding out contacts who've expressed interest or who might be interested," Weeks said.

Hanson U.K.'s aggregates, cement and concrete businesses will not be sold, after being identified as core areas by the parent company in May.

HeidelbergCement announced plans to sell all non-core assets to raise cash and pay down debt after its $16 billion takeover of British rival Hanson in 2007.

The group won a $12 billion lifeline from creditor banks in June, after reporting debt of 11.6 billion euros at the end of 2008. [ID:nLI732800] (Reporting by Lorraine Turner; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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