A business built up by Huddersfield-born tycoon Lord Hanson has been sold by its German owners – and a company based at Meltham is included in the deal.

Hanson Building Products, one of the UK’s largest producers of clay bricks, has been sold as part of a deal worth £900m.

The sale includes external wall cladding specialist Structherm, which employs 20 people at premises in Bent Ley Road, Meltham.

Hanson Building Products, which has been part of HeidelbergCement since 2007, employs almost 1,500 people at 18 production sites in the UK.

The sale of the UK business to private equity firm Lone Star is part of a wider deal that includes Hanson operations in North America. Overall, Hanson Building Products employs 4,621 people at 107 manufacturing plants.

The rest of Maidenhead-based Hanson UK, including operations in crushed stone, sand, asphalt and cement, will remain as part of HeidelbergCement. The deal is expected to conclude in the first quarter of next year.

As well as the Structherm business, the UK building products division makes the Thermalite brand of aircrete blocks as well as block paving and precast concrete products.

HeidelbergCement headquarters
 

There are major brick plants at Measham in Derbyshire, Desford in Leicestershire, Wilnecote in Staffordshire and Kirton in Nottinghamshire, plus precast operations in Derby and Hoveringham near Nottingham.

Structherm has been providing external wall cladding and insulation for more than 25 years to the construction industry for housing renewal projects, schools, hospitals and office blocks. Notable contracts have included supplying cladding for the development of 48 energy-efficient affordable apartments at Primrose Hill, which won a clutch of industry awards in 2010.

HeidelbergCement, which employs 57,000 people across five continents and is based in Heidelberg, will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its debts.

Hanson was bought by HeidelbergCement for £8bn in 2007, having been built into a multinational in the 1970s and 1980s by founder Lord Hanson and his business partner, Lord White.

HeidelbergCement chief executive Dr Bernd Scheifele said Hanson Building Products was a multi-national business with leading market positions, but that the focus of its products was outside the core businesses of HeidelbergCement.

“We are pleased that Lone Star will acquire this business which as an experienced financial investor will support the sustainable development of the business going forward,” he said.

HeidelbergCement chief executive Dr Bernd Scheifele