Swiss cement-maker Holcim is looking to extend its UK operations with a recommended cash offer for the privately-held building materials company Foster Yeoman.
The deal is being done through Leicestershirebased Aggregate Industries, which Holcim bought for £1.8 billion in 2005.
Holcim would not comment on the price that it has offered for Foster Yeoman, but said Aggregate had already received irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer from holders of 68.3 per cent of Foster's shares.
These undertakings will remain binding in the event of any competing offer, it added.
In the financial year to May 31 2005, Somerset-based Foster Yeoman had sales of approximately £224 million and sold more than £11 million tonnes of aggregates and about £1.5 million tonnes of asphalt.
The group operates ten quarries and asphalt plants.
Shares closed up 40p at 3903.