Hanson ceased trading on the London stock exchange at the end of last week, as German materials firm HeidelbergCement completed its £8bn acquisition.

HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Lehigh UK paid £11 a share for Hanson, spelling the end of independence for the UK’s largest materials company. Six directors resigned from Hanson’s board this week after the deal was confirmed.

The combined company is now the second largest materials company in the world, behind Lafarge. The takeover was cleared by the European Commission earlier this month.

Heidelberg makes cement and ready-mixed concrete, and sells throughout Europe. Hanson, which earlier this year acquired bricklayer Irvine-Whitlock, focuses on aggregates and is mainly active in Britain. The companies both have operations in the United States, too.

Pre-tax profit at Hanson fell 6% to £181.8m in the six months to 30 June, after the company was hit by the US housing slump. The company had a turnover of £4.1bn in 2006. Heidelberg will site the headquarters of the combined company in Germany.

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