HeidelbergCement is a German multinational building materials company headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany. It is a DAX 30 Corporation. On 1 July 2016, HeidelbergCement AG completed the acquisition of a 45% shareholding in Italcementi S.p.A. With the acquisition, HeidelbergCement becomes the number 1 producer of aggregates, the number 2 in cement and number 3 in ready-mixed concrete worldwide. The enlarged Group has activities in around 60 countries with 63,000 employees working at more than 3,000 production sites. HeidelbergCement operates 156 cement plants with an annual cement capacity of 197 million tonnes, more than 1,700 ready-mixed concrete production sites and over 600 aggregates quarries. The company was founded on 5 June 1874 by Johann Philipp Schifferdecker, at Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was making 80,000 tonnes per annum of Portland cement in 1896. Numerous other small companies were taken over from 1914 onwards, and by 1936 it was making one million tonnes per annum. Activities abroad began with the acquisition of part of Vicat Cement, France. Shipments reached 8.3 million tonnes in 1972. In 1977, a massive program of purchases in North America began with the acquisition of Lehigh Cement. In 1990, expansion in eastern Europe began. In 1993, it acquired part of SA Cimenteries CBR of Belgium, which already had a major multinational operation. Since then it has continued to expand, with complete buy-out of CBR, and purchases in eastern Europe and Asia. A major step was the acquisition of Scancem in 1999, with operations in Northern Europe as well as Africa. Indocement in Indonesia was included in 2001. In 2007, the British company Hanson was acquired, a transaction worth £7.85 billion (US$15,8 billion), which gave the company a stronger market position in UK and US, and turned HeidelbergCement into the worlds leading producer of aggregates. HeidelbergCement has (2010) 29 cement and grinding plants in Western and Northern Europe, 19 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 16 cement plants in North America, 14 in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. The company sold Maxit Group and its 35% share in Vicat Cement to help finance its acquisition of Hanson plc in August 2007. In most of the Group’s European countries, HeidelbergCement is the market leader in the cement business.