Barr sells aggregates business

Scottish construction group Barr has sold its quarry business to fast-expanding Breedon Aggregates.

The country’s largest independent aggregates business has agreed to pay £20.8m in cash for Barr Quarries.

Philip Cheevers, chairman of Barr Holdings, said: “I am pleased with the sale of our quarry interests to Breedon.

“This will give the quarry business the opportunity to further grow and develop under the umbrella of a major aggregates company and we wish them every success.

“At Barr we will continue to focus on our core construction business, which is performing well and on our environmental business which has made significant progress over the last few years and is trading very strongly.”

Cumnock-based Barr Quarries is the market-leader in aggregates in south-west Scotland and employs 130 people.

It operates 11 quarries, five asphalt plants and six ready-mixed concrete plants extending from Dalry in the north to Stranraer in the south and east to Moffat.

It also operates a successful contract surfacing business.

Barr boasts 57m tonnes of mineral reserves and resources, enough to last approximately 70 years at current rates of extraction.

The deal gives Breedon a fifth self-contained region in Scotland.

Barr Quarries achieved sales of £25m in 2013 with an underlying operating profit of around £2.7m.

The business has performed well in 2014, with year-on-year sales ahead in the first half.

Peter Tom CBE, Breedon’s chairman, said: “Scotland has played a vital part in Breedon’s success and we have made significant investments there over the past four years.

“With the uncertainties surrounding the independence issue now behind us, we believe our prospects north of the border have never been brighter and we can look ahead with renewed confidence.

“Barr Quarries represents a great opportunity to secure some rare assets in a brand-new region, which perfectly complements our existing operations in Scotland.”

Completion is expected by the end of this month and remains subject to TUPE consultations and final due diligence.

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