RMC Group p.l.c. History
Egham, Surrey TW20 8TD
Telephone: (01932) 568833
Fax: (01932) 568933
Incorporated: 1930 as Ready Mixed Concrete Limited
Sales: £4.70 billion (US$7.57 billion) (1999)
Stock Exchanges: London
NAIC: 212312 Crushed and Broken Limestone Mining and Quarrying; 212313 Crushed and Broken Granite Mining and Quarrying; 212319 Other Crushed and Broken Stone Mining and Quarrying; 234110 Highway and Street Construction; 234990 All Other Heavy Construction; 324121 Asphalt Paving Mixture and Block Manufacturing; 327310 Cement Manufacturing; 327320 Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing; 327331 Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing; 327332 Concrete Pipe Manufacturing; 327390 Other Concrete Product Manufacturing; 327410 Lime Manufacturing; 327420 Gypsum Product Manufacturing; 327999 All Other Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing; 444110 Home Centers; 562111 Solid Waste Collection; 562212 Solid Waste Landfill
The Group's strategy is to build upon and develop further its leading international market positions in its key products of ready mixed concrete, aggregates, cement and concrete products. Key Dates:
- Danish engineer Kjeld Ammentorp founds Ready Mixed Concrete Limited and begins construction of its first plant in Bedfont, England.
- Ready Mixed Concrete Limited of Australia is founded by Sam Stirling and Bill Freeman.
- Ammentorp sells his company to Ready Mixed Concrete of Australia.
- RMC goes public, raising needed capital.
- The company's Australian shareholders are bought out, and Ready Mixed Concrete regains its independence.
- John Camden begins long reign as chief executive.
- RMC expands into Ireland.
- Hall and Ham River, a leading U.K. supplier of aggregates, is acquired.
- RMC opens the Thorpe Park amusement park; expands into the United States through the establishment of a holding company, RMC Industries Corporation, and the acquisition of Piedmont Concrete and Ewell Industries; and enters the do-it-yourself retailing sector with the purchases of Great Mills Superstores and Regent Warehouses.
- Company changes its name to RMC Group p.l.c.; RMC enters the roadstone sector through the acquisition of Derbyshire-based Peakstone.
- RMC sells several noncore assets: Thorpe Park amusement park, builders' supplier Hall & Co., and its interest in the Chaufourneries lime joint venture.
- RMC acquires the Rugby Group PLC, the number three U.K. cement firm, for US$1.45 billion.
RMC Group p.l.c. is among the world's leading suppliers of building materials. It is the world's largest supplier of ready-mixed concrete and of aerated concrete products; the latter includes construction materials, such as building blocks and horizontal load-bearing beams. The company is also among the world leaders in cement and aggregates (sand, gravel, and crushed stone). Other construction-related activities include coated roadstone, lime, and mortar. In its home base of the United Kingdom, RMC is a leader in waste management and disposal through a subsidiary called Hales Waste Control Limited, and owns the nationwide 94-unit Great Mills chain of do-it-yourself superstores. About 25 percent of RMC's revenues are generated domestically, 27 percent in Germany, 26 percent in the rest of Europe, 18 percent in the United States, and the remaining four percent elsewhere.
Struggling Early Years
Before World War II builders doubted that ready-mixed concrete could be successfully delivered to construction sites, although ready-mixed is more convenient than mixing on the spot. Their skepticism stemmed partly from the failure of ready-mix ventures in the United States--in the days before self-agitating cement trucks the concrete was often rock hard by the time it arrived at the site. When a truck mixer that inhibited crystallization was invented in the United States in 1926, Danish engineer Kjeld Ammentorp invested in the new industry in England.
Ammentorp built his first plant at Bedfont, in a pit on land owned by the builders' suppliers Hall and Company. With money from friends in Denmark, Ammentorp incorporated his business, Ready Mixed Concrete Limited, in July 1930. The Bedfont location was ideal not only because it was close to London, where new construction was booming, but also because supplies of aggregates, the raw materials needed for mixing concrete, were abundant in the area. By building the plant directly in the pit, Ammentorp eliminated the need to haul materials.
Building the plant took more time than expected. Permission to build was slow in coming, and the first concrete to pave the yard and the loading bay was not poured until February 1931. Further delays occurred when parts had to be imported from Scandinavia. The completed structure was primitive. Gravel had to be hauled by chain-and-bucket elevators that broke down often. Early workers recalled working through the night with only the warmth of whiskey and rum to spur them on. The production process itself was crude&mdash one employee recalled in The Readymixers, weighing and measuring sand, ballast, and cement and adding water was a hit-or-miss process.
Demand for the new product was not high since the public was not yet convinced the ready-mix method worked. Government road-improvement projects set up to ease the unemployment caused by the stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression gave Ready Mixed Concrete some work. As profits slowly increased, Ammentorp increased the size of his truck fleet by buying agitators from Denmark.
World War II brought RMC's growth almost to a halt. Although there were a few new contracts for air-raid shelters and emergency construction work, general construction declined. When Ammentorp and other members of the staff were called up for military duty, operations nearly ceased until the end of the war.
The war's devastation of Europe offered many opportunities for the construction industry and those businesses that serviced it. Before taking advantage of the situation, however, Ammentorp had to deal with three challenges: replacing worn-out equipment, overcoming the increasing number of competitors, and building up the supplies of cement that had been depleted by wartime rationing. Ammentorp's salesmanship produced a pretax profit of £9,000 by 1950, when work began on a new Bedfont plant. A year later, Ready Mixed Concrete increased its output by 50 percent and its profit by 100 percent.
About the time that Ammentorp was leaving his business to become a soldier, an Australian accountant named Sam Stirling met Bill Freeman, a lawyer from Sydney, on a plane ride in New Guinea. The two men eventually became partners in a venture to supply and deliver ready-mixed concrete in Australia. The company was registered in 1939 as Ready Mixed Concrete Limited of Australia, and Stirling designed the bright orange diamond-shaped logo that is still in use today.
Like its counterpart in Great Britain, Ready Mixed of Australia suffered a series of losses until 1946. Then Stirling began to think about expanding overseas, in Europe. Stirling was a charismatic man who favored a seat-of-the-pants management style. He appreciated the same traits in other people as well. Bryan Kelman, a young British engineer who had worked with Ready Mixed of Australia on a project in Canberra, came upon Stirling adjusting some of the company's equipment one day when he was visiting the office. Not knowing that Stirling was the owner, Kelman demanded that he leave the equipment alone and leave the premises. Even when Stirling assured Kelman that he did indeed belong there, Kelman held his ground. Impressed, Stirling convinced Kelman to work for him at twice his current pay and sent him to Great Britain to assess the ready-mix market.
After arriving in England in April 1951, Kelman opened a company bank account and met with John Gauntlett, a corporate lawyer in the firm of Linklaters and Paines, to draw up the papers for the formation of Stirling Readymix Concrete. Gauntlett became an important link between the new company and the London business community and eventually became deputy chairman. When Kelman could not find investors for the new company, Stirling came to London himself. But even his charisma and business acumen could not convince British financiers that ready-mixed concrete could be a viable industry. Stirling had to get funds from the Australian business community.
With the new funding, Kelman purchased a plant in Liverpool and moved it to Poplar, where operations began in April 1952. Stirling assigned Kelman to convince Ammentorp to sell the now-prosperous Ready Mixed Concrete to the Australian company. Early in 1952, Ammentorp sold his company to Stirling for £92,500, and Stirling Readymix Concrete became Ready Mixed Concrete, based in Great Britain. Ammentorp stayed on as a board member for six years and then left England and the company he had founded.
Kelman returned to Australia, and Stirling sent for Norman Davis, Frank Nugent, and Alf Smith from the Australian operation to sell ready-mixed concrete to still-skeptical customers in England. Ammentorp had not always been prompt in his deliveries and Stirling wanted to change public perception as soon as possible. An opportunity to do so came when the engineering department of a local council hired RMC to fill miles of scrapped tram lines. This new account provided daily work for the company for four years, and the orange trucks became a familiar sight running from the plant to the tram lines.
While Alf Smith remained in London as the chief executive and Davis was put in charge of the Poplar plant, Nugent was busy in the Midlands, setting up the company's first production plant at Queslett, about five miles from Birmingham. While there, he hired a civil engineering graduate named John Camden. When Nugent was sent to Rio de Janeiro to supervise international expansion there, Camden was left in charge of the Queslett operation.
Building licenses and controls in the United Kingdom were lifted in 1954, and the postwar reconstruction intensified. RMC grew, often purchasing the plants and equipment of failed competitors. Jim Owen, a Welsh site engineer, and Norman Grant, a technical engineer, joined the company during this time. Both would become RMC executives in the future.
Also in the early 1950s, RMC expanded to continental Europe, although the move was not planned. A deal had been struck with Kellogg, an American contracting firm, for RMC-Australia to pour concrete in Tasmania. While the RMC engineers were waiting for specially ordered equipment to be delivered, Kellogg backed out of the deal. Since the equipment was in transit in West Germany, RMC management in Sydney decided to set up shop there. John Camden established a plant in Düsseldorf. Although postwar Germany was a natural market for the construction industry, exceedingly harsh winters meant little work for RMC. It was four years before the company was ready to build another German plant, this one north of Düsseldorf.
In 1955, Alf Smith returned to Australia and Bryan Kelman was named chairman and chief executive of RMC. A strong proponent of expansion, Kelman aggressively sought mergers with other companies. For part of 1959, RMC opened one new plant in the United Kingdom every ten days. The company expanded just as dramatically in West Germany, where each new plant that opened was formed into a separate company, and also moved into Jamaica in 1959 and Austria in 1961.
Also in 1961, a lawyer named Hermann Warmke joined the company to handle contracts, personnel, and insurance. Amazed at the lack of organization, Warmke set up regular working hours and a holiday schedule.
A move into Italy was RMC's first unsuccessful expansion. The company closed a production plant in Milan when operating problems mounted, and when a construction job was repeatedly stalled because contractors hit buried Roman ruins, RMC sold or closed its other Italian interests too.
Another less than satisfactory venture was RMC's partnership with two German firms, Rheinisch Kalksteinwerke Wulfrath (RKW), a ready-mix producer, and Dyckerhoff, a major supplier of cement, an important component of concrete. Under the name Beton Union, the three companies built 30 plants, set up so as not to compete with each other. Eventually, this arrangement cut into everyone's profit, and in 1964 RMC pulled out of the union over strategy disagreements. RKW followed suit in 1968. Dyckerhoff then entered the ready-mix market, forcing RMC to invest in the cement business to protect its own supplies. Cement was not a profitable part of the corporation, however; stiff competition and stringent pollution-control regulations kept Readymix Zementwerke from producing at capacity.
During the 1960s, ready-mix technology improved. RMC engineer Norman Grant developed the Cusum production method that allowed concrete to be tested within 24 hours rather than days. The company also developed and patented a hydraulic driving device for truck mixers. To ensure its future growth, RMC began to explore sea dredging as an alternate source of gravel as resources were depleted.
In May 1962 the rising cost of operations forced RMC to become a public company. The following winter was a difficult one: below-freezing weather curtailed production and a fire destroyed the Vienna plant. In addition, Sam Stirling's health was failing rapidly. Nevertheless, RMC expanded into Israel, a move that eventually added £11 million annually to company profit. By the end of 1962, RMC had 19 subsidiary companies and 80 plants in the United Kingdom that were supplying a quarter of the country's ready-mixed concrete. The company payroll listed over 800 employees, approximately 300 of whom were owner-drivers. When their self-employed status was challenged, England's High Court decided in RMC's favor and the drivers remained independent.
By 1963 tension between the Australian and British factions of the company peaked. The Australian directors believed that management in Great Britain had become too independent, and set about making plans to sell their shares to another company. In a boisterous board meeting, Kelman offered to top the Australians's asking price by selling 2.8 million shares to institutions and investors instead of to a single buyer. The shares brought £7.5 million.
Under Kelman's chairmanship, the newly independent Ready Mixed Concrete continued to expand. Plants were opened in Northern Ireland and Wales in the early 1960s. During 1963, RMC completed eight corporate acquisitions and formed a partnership with SOPEAL, a small company in Paris, to gain a foothold in France. The company even made an unsuccessful bid for the original Australian company. As the decade wore on, however, the British Labour Party's opposition to firms taking business outside the country made foreign expansion difficult.
In 1965 Bryan Kelman decided to accept an offer to work for the Australian firm that had acquired Ready Mixed Concrete of Australia. After extensive discussions, the board of directors brought John Camden back from Europe and appointed him chief executive. Bob Northcott took Kelman's place as chairman of the board.
As the top executive, Camden's style was very different from Bryan Kelman's; he conducted business more formally. Camden's first objective was to move the company away from its centralized management and give more responsibility to the regional managers. Under Camden's plan, the United Kingdom was divided into regions, and each company was run by general and departmental managers. The result was that local operating companies kept their own identities, and the central office became less involved in their daily operations. The reorganization was unpopular with some senior officers, who resigned.
In 1966 RMC moved into the Republic of Ireland with a ready-mixed concrete plant at Palmerston, to the northwest of Dublin. Despite continuing strife in the country, RMC's business interests thrived and the company acquired other Irish businesses. In Great Britain, during 1967, RMC acquired a 50 percent stake in St. Alban's Sand and Gravel. The company also moved into Berlin, where it eventually bought out the city's largest producer of ready-mix concrete.
In 1968 an explosion in a high-rise apartment building that had been built by RMC's joint-venture subsidiary, Taylor Woodrow-Anglian, killed several people. RMC's industrial work ceased until new design criteria for such buildings were approved by the British Ministry of Housing. Litigation stemming from the accident lasted well into the 1980s, and in 1985 RMC sold its shares to Taylor Woodrow. Founder Sam Stirling died in 1968 and was buried in his native Australia.
Early in the same year, RMC entered a takeover fight for Hall and Ham River, a builders' merchant and the biggest supplier of aggregates in southeastern Great Britain. Redland, a major building materials group, made numerous offers to purchase Hall and Ham. RMC executives watched from the sidelines until Redland eventually gave up. The weakened Hall and Ham accepted an offer from RMC, which made the company the leading producer of concrete aggregates in the United Kingdom. Although the purchase was worthwhile because of the aggregates it brought to RMC, management spent many hours cleaning up the disarray in Hall and Ham's operations.
As part of the Hall and Ham deal, RMC acquired a large home called 'the Grange at Thorpe' in Surrey. In 1969, the Grange was turned into a technical and training center with Joe Dewar as its first director. The first class included 1,000 Hall and Ham employees who were retrained in RMC methods. The Grange was eventually expanded to include a group training center and a laboratory complex.
Toward the end of the decade, RMC formed a consortium with several other concrete aggregate companies to speed up the excavation of the Queen Mary Reservoir in Sunbury. For the first time, management acknowledged public concern about the industry's effects on the environment. At a shareholders' meeting, Chairman of the Board Bob Northcott warned that RMC would have to start restoring excavation areas even though it would be time-consuming and expensive. Acquisitions during this time included an aggregate business and a ready-mix company in Germany that were then combined to form Ready Mix Kies.
Diversified in the 1970s and 1980s
By the 1970s, RMC was the world's largest producer of ready-mix concrete, and highly profitable. The construction industry had accepted not only ready-mixed concrete, but also higher prices for it, and no expensive new plant-building projects were planned.
One of the people who had come to RMC with the Hall and Ham River merger, Tim Hartwright, took Northcott's concerns about the restoration of gravel pits seriously. Hartwright suggested building a safari and water park at one of the worked-out pits. After he and several others visited theme parks in the United States, the company constructed Thorpe Park near the Grange. RMC's financial director, Alan Endsor, was especially pleased with the new venture since he had been recommending that the company begin to diversify its interests. Although RMC encountered some public resistance to the idea at first and a period of low sales in ready-mixed concrete kept the cash flow down, Thorpe Park finally opened in 1979 and went on to become one of Great Britain's top ten tourist attractions.
In 1972, RMC commissioned a new ten-story corporate office on London Road in Staines and opened a plant in Hong Kong. Bob Northcott retired in 1973 and John Camden became chairman of the board while retaining his position as chief executive. Soon afterward, the economic recession fueled by the oil shortage hit the construction industry. At the same time, the British government placed restraints on business in an attempt to curb inflation. In 1973 Anthony Barber, the Conservative chancellor, introduced an emergency budget designed to slow what he is quoted in The Readymixers as calling the building industry's 'obscene gains.' A miners' strike and the imposition of a three-day work week exacerbated RMC's financial problems. West German operations were also hard-hit by the recession. Industrywide, ready-mix production slumped by 12 percent. Competition became so fierce that some suppliers were selling concrete at prices below cost. To reduce some of its short-term loan commitments, RMC decided to sell the recently completed corporate office in Staines for £9 million.
By 1976 RMC's finances had improved slightly, and the company began to look for other markets and products that were not as dependent on the construction industry. At the same time, the company explored the possibilities of expansion to the American ready-mix market. Peter L. Young, RMC's director for corporate planning, was directed to spend five years appraising available growth options. Young looked at three options: first, RMC could continue to use its current business plan; second, the company could expand its conventional businesses; or third, the company could move into new geographical areas and new product markets. Young concluded that RMC would be best advised to expand its traditional business into new geographical areas and expand into new products at home. RMC had already experimented with some diversification. One of its subsidiaries, Hall Containers, disposed of dry and liquid industrial waste. Depleted gravel pits at Kingsmead had been turned into a fishing project, and the theme park at another site, at Thorpe, had proven to be successful.
Young's recommendations were put into action immediately. RMC moved into the United States with the purchase of Piedmont Concrete in North Carolina in 1979, and eight months later RMC bought Ewell Industries in Lakeland, Florida. The company entered another new market in March 1979 when it bought the Katelise Group, a do-it-yourself home-improvement business that operated 14 Great Mills Superstores in the southern and southwestern sections of England. By the end of 1979, RMC had also bought the Regent Warehouses chain. RMC entered the service industry when it purchased a 51 percent share in C. Rowbotham & Sons, an insurance brokerage, that same year. RMC acquired the remainder of the company in 1983. In December 1979, RMC purchased Lander Alarm Company, an electronic security and alarm business in Scotland. The company also joined an oil exploration consortium led by Arpet Petroleum, a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company.
Diversification on a large scale came when RMC's readymix business was under fire by the government. During the early years of the recession, RMC and other ready-mix companies had made secret agreements to share business in order to keep themselves afloat. When this practice was discovered in an Office of Fair Trading investigation, the companies were brought before the Restrictive Practices Court. The businesses involved were reprimanded and future agreements were banned. A few years later, a Monopolies and Mergers Commission investigation caused more concern. At the time, RMC controlled one-third of the market and company executives were prepared for the worst. The commission concluded, however, that while RMC's business did constitute a monopoly, it was not harmful to public interest.
Although effects of the recession were still being felt during the early 1980s, RMC continued to acquire new businesses. The company moved into Spain through a merger with Asland SA that produced Readymix Asland. Acquisitions in Florida also continued. In February 1981, RMC's management was restructured into four sectors: concrete and aggregates, trading and environmental, services and financial, and general industries. The following year, the company changed its name from Ready Mix Concrete to RMC Group p.l.c.
By 1982 RMC's profits reached £55 million despite some problems. Expansion of the do-it-yourself chain was slower than expected, and business in West Germany and Austria slumped. Government restraints caused a construction lag in France, and RMC plants in Ireland registered their first losses. Although the British and European construction industries remained slow throughout the decade, RMC increased its profits through the aggregate business and its U.S. plants. The insurance subsidiary and some other new acquisitions were also profitable. Efforts to restore its gravel pits led RMC to new profit-making ventures, including growing grapes for wine and evening primroses in a joint venture with Germplasm Resource Management, for their oil.
At the end of 1982, RMC entered the roadstone business through the acquisition of Peakstone, a limestone producer in Derbyshire. The following year proved to be the company's best in a long time as the West German businesses finally started to prosper. A road-building program in the United Kingdom resulted in lucrative contracts for RMC, and the company's security and alarm subsidiaries in Scotland continued to thrive. In 1984 a modern ready-mix concrete plant was built in Birmingham, and the old plants in Bordesley and Queslett were closed. In the United States, RMC took over Metromont Materials in South Carolina and moved into Atlanta, Georgia, in 1985. In 1986, Jim Owen replaced John Camden as group managing director. Camden remained chairman of the board.
In the latter 1980s several events put RMC in an unfavorable light. In the summer of 1989, at least 60 people were killed when an RMC dredger rammed a pleasure boat on the Thames River. In February of the same year, Anthony Hulett, an area manager, and Tony Lewis, a plant manager, were indicted by the Office of Fair Trading for violating the bans on unlawful agreements. Plans for RMC to excavate the Test Valley in Hampshire brought an outcry by prominent environmentalists.
1990s: Expanding in Eastern Europe and Beyond
The early 1990s were marked by RMC's expansionary moves in the newly opened markets of eastern Europe. RMC had first entered the eastern European market in 1989 with the opening of a ready-mixed concrete plant in Budapest, Hungary. The following year saw the company venture into eastern Germany with the purchase of a rundown cement plant in Rüdersdorf, near Berlin. Its activities in eastern Germany were initially organized under a joint venture holding company called Readymix Berlin GmbH. In 1993 Readymix Berlin was merged into RMC's existing German subsidiary, Readymix AG. Two years later RMC gained full control of Readymix--which by that time was one of the leading suppliers of construction materials on the European continent--by buying out its German partners in the venture. In September 1995 RMC launched a £459 million rights issue to fund the buyout. Meantime, RMC in 1991 acquired Germany-based Ytong AG, one of the world's leading producers of aerated concrete, with operations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia, the Netherlands, and Hungary. In 1993 RMC's German lime and limestone operations were combined with those of the Belgian Lhoist Group in France and the Czech Republic to form a 50-50 joint venture, Chaufourneries de Hergenrath S.A.
RMC in 1995 expanded within the United Kingdom through the acquisition of Hargreaves Quarries Limited, and in Austria with the purchase of a 24.9 percent stake in Kies-Union Vereinigte Kieswerke AG, that country's leading aggregate producer. In 1996 RMC bolstered its Austrian interests by increasing to 72 percent its stake in Kies-Union, which was then rechristened Readymix Kies-Union AG. That year, Peter Young was named chief executive.
In the later 1990s, with its large German operations being severely affected by a depressed construction market, RMC expanded aggressively outside of Europe. In 1996 RMC entered India for the first time with the creation of RMC Readymix (India) Limited, in which RMC held a 50 percent stake. The company also expanded into Jordan with the opening of a ready-mixed concrete plant in Amman through the newly formed Al-Ramz Concrete Industries Limited, a venture 75 percent owned by RMC. Entry into Croatia was gained in 1997 through the purchase of 51 percent of Dalmacijacement d.d., a cement supplier, while Indonesia fell into the group's orbit that same year with the acquisition of a 90 percent stake in a Jakarta-based ready-mixed concrete producer, which was renamed PT. RMC Readymix Indonesia. Expansion continued in 1998 with the establishment of a joint venture in the United Arab Emirates and the acquisition of a ready-mixed concrete company in Malaysia. The following year RMC entered the South American market for the first time through the creation of Readymix Argentina S.A. RMC also made a number of acquisitions in the United States during this period; by decade's end, RMC Industries Corporation, its U.S. holding company, had operations in 13 states, was the country's largest producer of ready-mixed concrete, and had major positions in aggregates and concrete products.
The continuing struggles in Germany led to revenue and profit declines in 1998. That year the company initiated a cost-cutting program, emphasizing Germany and the United Kingdom, and disposed of some noncore assets, including the Thorpe Park amusement park and builders' supplier Hall & Co. RMC also sold to its partner its interest in the Chaufourneries lime joint venture. RMC bolstered its position in Germany in 1998 through the acquisition of Wülfrather Zement for £156 million. On the negative side, RMC's German operations became the subject of a 1999 antitrust probe by the German Cartel Office, which in November 1999 fined the RMC subsidiaries a total of DM 102 million (£34 million).
In late 1999 RMC failed in a bid to acquire Scancem, a Swedish building materials firm; this prize instead went to Heidelberger Zement, one of RMC's chief German rivals. On the heels of this failure, RMC aggressively pursued an acquisition of the Rugby Group PLC, which was completed in January 2000 in a US$1.45 billion deal. Rugby, the third largest maker of cement in the United Kingdom and also a manufacturer of lime, had its main operations in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, with smaller operations in the Czech Republic and Jamaica.
RMC's profits before taxation increased 15 percent in 1999, to £347.7 million, while revenues were up almost seven percent. The improvement stemmed mainly from the group's operations in the robust U.S. market and in European markets outside the United Kingdom and Germany--particularly France and Spain. Following the Rugby acquisition, RMC faced the early 21st century with confidence. It also faced it under new leadership, following the mid-2000 retirement of Young after nearly 40 years of company service. Taking over as chief executive was Stuart Walker, who had joined RMC in 1971 and had most recently been responsible for the group's mainland European operations.
Principal Subsidiaries: Great Mills (Retail) Limited; Hales Waste Control Limited; RMC Readymix East Anglia Limited (50%); RMC Readymix South West Limited (51%); RMC Aggregates (UK) Limited; RMC Building Products (UK) Limited; RMC Finance Limited; RMC Group Services Limited; RMC Readymix Limited; RMC (UK) Limited; Rombus Insurance Brokers Limited; Rombus Leasing Limited; The Rugby Group PLC; Readymix AG für Beteiligungen (Germany); Readymix Beton AG (Germany); Readymix Kies GmbH (Germany); Readymix Zement GmbH (Germany); Ytong AG (Germany); Readymix Betonbauteile GmbH (Germany); RGS-Holding GmbH (Germany); Readymix Kies-Union AG (Austria; 72%); Lieferbeton GmbH (Austria); Kies-Union GmbH (Austria); N.V. Readymix-Belgium SA; Dalmacijacement d.d. (Croatia; 51%); Readymix CR s.r.o. (Czech Republic; 70%); 4K-Beton A/S (Denmark); RMC France SA; Béøn Rationnel Controlé (France); Sablières et Enterprises Morillon Corvol SA (France); Danubiusbeton Kft (Hungary); Broceni A/S (Latvia; 72%); RMC Holdings B.V. (Netherlands); Readymix Nederland N.V. (Netherlands); Readymix plc (Republic of Ireland; 63%); Readymix Asland SA (Spain; 50%); Cementownia Rudniki S.A. (Poland; 96%); RMC Industries Corporation (U.S.A.); Allied Readymix Inc. (U.S.A.); Ewell Industries Inc. (U.S.A.); Krehling Industries Inc. (U.S.A.); Metromont Materials Corp. (U.S.A.); Piedmont Concrete Co. (U.S.A.); Singletary Concrete Products Inc. (U.S.A.); RMC LONESTAR (U.S.A.); RMC Topmix LLC (United Arab Emirates; 49%); RMC Readymix (India) Limited (50%); PT. RMC Readymix Indonesia (90%); Readymix Industries (Israel) Limited (67.55%); Al-Ramz Concrete Industries Limited (Jordan; 75%); RMC Concrete (Malaysia) Sdn.Bhd.
Principal Competitors: Apasco, S.A. de C.V.; Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc.; Blue Circle Industries PLC; Cemex, S.A. de C.V.; Centex Construction Products, Inc.; Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH; Hanson PLC; Heidelberger Zement AG; 'Holderbank' Financiere Glaris Ltd.; J Sainsbury plc; Lafarge S.A.; SITA; Tarmac plc; Vulcan Materials Company; Waste Management, Inc.
- Batchelor, Charles, 'Vertical Integration Sets Building Material Debate: Continental Trend Reaches UK Shores and Threatens to Upset Traditional Industry Relationships,' Financial Times, December 17, 1999, p. 26.
- Bolger, Andrew, 'RMC Signs First Deal in East German Growth,' Financial Times, October 9, 1990, p. 26.
- Cassell, Michael, The Readymixers, London: Pencorp Books, 1986.
- Guthrie, Jonathan, 'RMC in German Cement Purchase,' Financial Times, May 22, 1998, p. 22.
- ------, 'RMC Warns of Severe Slowdown in East Germany,' Financial Times, September 18, 1998, p. 22.
- London, Simon, 'Germany Causes Decline at RMC,' Financial Times, September 20, 1996, p. 22.
- Minton, Anna, 'German Cartel Watchdog Hits RMC with £34m Fine,' Financial Times, November 2, 1999, p. 31.
- ------, 'RMC Builds Up 19.9% Rugby Stake in Dawn Raid,' Financial Times, November 9, 1999, p. 30.
- Pretzlik, Charles, 'Hard Times for Concrete Group,' Financial Times, March 27, 1999, p. 2.
- ------, 'RMC Expands in US via $117m Purchases,' Financial Times, April 1, 1999, p. 30.
- ------, 'RMC in German Cartel Probe,' Financial Times, August 10, 1999, p. 16.
- ------, 'RMC to Move on Rugby in £990m Deal,' Financial Times, November 8, 1999, p. 24.
- Taylor, Andrew, 'RMC Launches £459m Rights Issue,' Financial Times, September 8, 1995, p. 15.
- Waples, John, 'RMC Seeks to Cement £800m Rugby Takeover,' London Sunday Times, November 7, 1999.
Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 34. St. James Press, 2000.