The world’s largest building materials company CRH is planning to move its listing from London to New York in a fresh blow to the UK’s capital market.
The company, which has a market capitalisation of close to £30bn, is the latest UK-listed company to embark on a move to New York. Last year, Ferguson, the plumbing and heating products supplier, left the FTSE 100 after moving its primary stock market listing to Wall Street. Flutter, the world’s largest publicly traded gambling company, is also considering a US listing.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that Shell’s top executives explored moving the Anglo-Dutch energy group to the US.
CRH said on Thursday that it would recommend to shareholders a switch of its primary listing to the US in 2023. It said that North America now represented about three-quarters of earnings, and would be a key driver of future growth.
“Our exposure to this market is likely to increase further driven by substantial increases in infrastructure funding, a renewed drive for the onshoring of manufacturing activity and significant levels of under-build in the residential construction market,” CRH said.
Analysts said a move to the US would lead to a higher share price for the company and allow the group greater exposure to investors in its key market. UBS said the shift to a US listing could lead to a “multiple re-rating given US peers trade on roughly 25x [price to earnings] vs CRH on 13x”.
Shares in CRH jumped more than 9 per cent after the news.
The company has had a London primary listing since 2011, but also has a secondary listing in Dublin, where it is headquartered. The company said it would consult shareholders on moving the primary listing to the US but did not say what the plans were for Dublin.
Asked about the move on Thursday, David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange, said: “If companies are going to make decisions when most of their business is in the US, that, sort of is what it is.”
The London market has been hit by a wave of takeovers and take-private deals in the tech sector that risk further stripping it of large listed companies, including Kape Technologies, Aveva, Micro Focus and cyber-security company Avast. Some companies are also choosing to list their shares in the US, particularly the tech sector, to access deeper pools of capital and a broader range of analyst and specialist financial services.
CRH works on large construction projects across Europe and the US, including the construction of London’s Crossrail line and the HS2 railway line in the UK.
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