Materials giant put on market for £3bn. Bidders could include Lafrage and Cemex

Mining company Anglo American has said it will sell building materials business Tarmac to focus on its mining and minerals operations.

Tarmac could sell for as much as £3bn, according to the Financial Times. Potential bidders are said to include Lafarge, Orascom Construction Industries and Cemex. Swiss firm Holcim and CRH of Ireland have also shown interest.

This is believed to be the final step in Anglo’s restructuring plan, launched a back in 2005, to focus more on its core mining operations and to boost the performance of its stock to prevent it from becoming a takeover target.

The announcement was made as Anglo reported a 22% rise in earnings at £1.5bn ($3.1bn) in the six months ending 30 June. The company also announced strong performances from platinum, base metals, ferrous metals and industrial minerals.

Tarmac has businesses in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Anglo bought the firm back in 1999 for £1.2bn.