Dallas-based private equity firm Lone Star Funds agreed to spend $700 million for a set of North American assets that were being sold by French industrial and construction company Lafarge SA (EPA: LG).
Lafarge’s North America’s gypsum division, which produces plasterboard and drywall materials, generates roughly $75 million of Ebitda. The sale comes after the 2011 divestment of the Paris company’s European and South American gypsum divisions, in addition to its Australian and Asian gypsum operations.
Lafarge has been selling non-core assets as a means of lowering debt. The company has managed close to $1.2 billion worth of divestments in 2012. Among the deals it completed, was the sale certain cement plant operations, located in Sugar Creek, Mo. and Tulsa, Okla., to Eagle Materials Inc. for an estimated $446 million in cash.
The company reportedly amassed a considerable amount of debt when it acquired Middle Eastern cement-maker Orascom Cement for $12.8 billion in 2007.
Lafarge, which aims to lower its debt below $13.1 billion, is expected to shop more assets throughout 2013.
Lone Star, which specializes in purchasing distressed companies and assets, is currently investing out of its eighth fund, Lone Star Fund VIII. The fund, formed in March 2013, held its final closing in May 2013 with $5.1 billion in combined capital commitments.