* Martin Marietta says banking on investment activity in CA, AZ
* Heidelberg to focus on higher-margin business
* All-cash deal to close in second half of year (Adds detail on deal’s strategic rationale)
May 24 (Reuters) - Construction materials supplier Martin Marietta Materials Inc said on Monday it will buy HeidelbergCement AG’s assets in California and Arizona for $2.3 billion.
The all-cash deal seeks to capitalise on state infrastructure investments and private-sector growth in the two U.S. states.
The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company said it entered an agreement with HeidelbergCement’s U.S. affiliate, Lehigh Hanson Inc, to buy assets including 17 active aggregates quarries and two cement plants.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year and will be accretive to earnings per share in the first full year following closing, Martin Marietta said.
German seller Heidelberg said it would focus on other regions in North America where it has the strongest market positions, and that the divestment was part of a strategic push to lift profit margins.
HeidelbergCement told Reuters in February it identified five assets to sell, in a review of its business.
The group, which is active in Europe, Asia and the Americas, has in the past said its North American business was underperforming, leading it to launch a margin improvement plan. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Muralikumar Anantharaman)