Mitsubishi Paying $900M for Corona Concrete Maker

Corona-based concrete maker Robertson’s Ready Mix Concrete Inc. is being bought for $900 million by Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp. Robertson’s Ready Mix has locations all over Southern California, including Anaheim, Santa Ana and Lake Forest. The deal comes as construction is in a downswing. But Mitsubishi said it sees a recovery in construction coming next year.

“Although the U.S. housing market is in a slump due to subprime-related problems, the housing market accounts for around 25% of U.S. cement demand. Public-works demand, the majority of cement demand, is expected to show stable growth,” the company said in a statement. Privately held Robertson’s has grown profits more than fourfold in the past three years, Mitsubishi said.

Mitsubishi already owns a third of Robertson’s and will become a 70% owner after buying shares from the company’s founding family. A weaker dollar against the Japanese Yen also makes the deal more attractive for Mitsubishi.

The sale would be the third-largest foreign buy in the construction materials sector by a Japanese company, according to Thomson Financial data. In 2005 Nippon Sheet Glass Co bought Pilkington PLC for $4 billion, and Asahi Glass Co’s bought AFG Industries Inc for $1.1 billion. Mexico’s Cemex SAB. de CV also is a major player in the U.S. concrete market.

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