HeidelbergCement (FWB: HEIG) is a German cement and building materials company. It is currently (as of 2007) the world's fourth largest cement producer and the market leader in aggregates. In 2006 the company produced around 80 million tonnes of cement. The company employs some 65,000 people at 2,700 locations in 50 countries with an annual turnover of approximately EUR 15 billion.
History Of HeidelbergCement
The company was founded on 5 June 1874 by Johann Philipp Schifferdecker, at Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was making 80,000 tonnes per annum of Portland cement in 1896. Numerous other small companies were taken over from 1914 onwards, and by 1936 it was making one million tonnes per annum. Activities abroad began with the acquisition of part of Vicat Cement, France. Shipments reached 8.3 million tonnes in 1972. In 1977, a massive program of purchases in North America began with the acquisition of Lehigh Cement. In 1990, expansion in eastern Europe began. In 1993, it acquired part of SA Cimenteries CBR of Belgium which already had a major multinational operation. Since then it has continued to expand, with complete buy-out of CBR, and purchases in eastern Europe and Asia, including Norcem of Norway in 1999. In 2005, it was operating in 50 countries with 43000 employees, and sold 68 million tonnes of cement. It has (2006) 37 cement plants in Europe and Central Asia, 13 cement plants in North America, 4 in Africa, and 12 in the rest of Asia. The company sold its 35% share in Vicat Cement to help finance its acquisition of Hanson plc in August 2007.
As of 2007, Adolf Merckle and his family have become one of the largest investors in HeidelbergCement.