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SigmaRoc to acquire Belgian armour-stone group

David Barrett

Conditional agreement on acquisition of Stone Holdings and proposed appointment of Jacques Emsens to the board

RAPIDLY expanding buy-and-build construction materials group SigmaRoc have conditionally agreed to acquire Belgian sea-defence rock-quarrying group Stone Holdings SA (Stone) for a transaction value of up to €2.2 million, comprising a combination of cash and the issue of new ordinary shares in SigmaRoc.

Stone operate two quarries, a wharf and a contracting business in Belgium, focusing on rock armour for river- and sea-defence work. For the financial years 2016, 2017 and 2018, the company achieved average revenue of €3.8 million and recorded adjusted EBITDA of €500,000.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Stone reported a pre-tax profit of approximately €355,000, whilst the company’s gross assets at year-end were €3.7 million.

SigmaRoc say the acquisition will offer them an operating hub in the Benelux region from which the Group can look to further expand in Northern Europe.
In conjunction with the acquisition, Jacques Emsens, who owns a 60% stake in Stone, has agreed to join the board of SigmaRoc as a non-executive director.

Over a long and successful career, Mr Emsens helped build SCR-Sibelco NV into a world-leading materials solutions company. Founded by the Emsens family, Sibelco achieved revenue of €3.5 billion in 2018, with operations in 30 countries and more than 10,000 employees.

Mr Emsens continues to serve on the board of Sibelco and on the board of Sofina (Société Financière de Transports et d'Entreprises Industrielles), one of Belgium’s largest investment companies.

SigmaRoc say his extensive history in defining and implementing strategies of industrial businesses, as well as his access to potential investors, should result in a significant contribution to the board. 

David Barrett (pictured), chairman of SigmaRoc, commented: ‘We are very pleased to announce Jacques’ proposed appointment to the board. There are few names in our industry which carry as much weight as Jacques Emsens.

‘It also marks our first step into mainland Europe, where we are working hard to unlock several opportunities starting with Stone. Subject to obtaining shareholder approvals, we look forward to updating the market regarding our exciting acquisition pipeline over the coming months.’

Mr Emsens commented: ‘As a family, we have been involved in quarrying for five generations. It is always a pleasure for me to help build businesses in this sector. SigmaRoc have made great progress so far and I look forward to being part of their further success.’

Meanwhile, subject to shareholder approval, SigmaRoc are planning to exercise their option to acquire the remaining 60% stake in Welsh quarrying group GD Harries during the fourth quarter of 2019, such that GD Harries will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group.

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