The world's biggest cement maker, Switzerland's Holcim Ltd., closed a $1.29 billion deal on April 3 to buy Saginaw, Mich.-based Duro-Last Inc., a producer of single-ply roofing systems.
Now company officials are looking for the next company to fold into the Holcim Building Envelope division after completing four deals since 2021. The goal is to bring other green products into the portfolio while growing through mergers and acquisitions, according to Jamie Gentoso, president of Holcim Building Envelope and global head of Holcim Solutions & Products.
"We are growing quickly, but we only invest in businesses committed to innovative and sustainable solutions that can improve the built environment. In short, no, we are not done investing," Gentoso said in an email to Plastics News.
Duro-Last supplies the North American commercial roofing market with various types of PVC membrane options, prefabricated roofs, cool roofs and insulation boards. The company also offers accessories and installation tools for a full product lineup.
When it comes to green initiatives, Duro-Last stands out. The company has offered a take-back recycling program for used roofs since 1989, and it was the first commercial roofing manufacturer to publish an environmental product declaration for single-ply PVC roofing membranes, which meets green building certifications.
Gentoso said Duro-Last will be managed as a separate business unit within Holcim's Building Envelope division, which works with other business units within Holcim Group in North America.
Duro-Last projects 2023 sales of $540 million.
Duro-Last complements Holcim's building envelope portfolio in terms of products, and it brings a new business model that includes vertical integration of scrim, plates and fasteners — parts that often pose supply constraints, Gentoso said.
The acquisition also closes a critical technology gap in Holcim's commercial roofing offering, which includes the Elevate brand, and aligns with the business strategy to accelerate "green growth" and reach 30 percent of group net sales by 2025, Gentoso added.
Holcim's Solutions & Products segment accounted for 19 percent of the group's total net sales in 2025.
With the acquisition of Duro-Last, Gentoso said Holcim's Building Envelope division expects to exceed $4 billion in sales ahead of schedule.
"We now have the opportunity for Elevate roofing and lining systems to add a unique and in-demand membrane and expanded solutions to its existing product range," Gentoso said. "Also, the in-house manufacturing of various metal roofing components, such as fascia, downspouts [and] termination bars, offers synergies with the existing line of Elevate metal products and solutions."
In all, synergies of $60 million a year are expected. Gentoso said Duro-Last products and customers have very little overlap with Holcim Building Envelope brands so there are opportunities for sales synergies as well as supply chain efficiencies, purchasing at economies of scale, and in-sourcing products and materials.
Holcim will retain the 840 managers and employees, Gentoso added, crediting them with creating a strong, growth-oriented business and brand that Holcim plans to grow.
"While they will operate within Holcim, we intend for management and employees to stay with the business and continue to build on its success," Gentoso said. "Duro-Last branded products will also remain in the market."
Those products are manufactured at Duro-Last's eight U.S. plants, which includes the headquarters in Saginaw.
"All structures and systems are likely to continue as they are," Gentoso said.
The recycling program that began in 1989 started out turning old roofs into a proprietary rooftop walk-pad called Roof-Track, then added two more products: ProFlex-brand expansion joints and Protect-All-brand flooring.
When contractors replace roofs that have reached the end of their service life, they can ship back Duro-Last products that had been mechanically attached for recycling instead of landfilling.
The Recycle Your Roof program also uses manufacturing excess from Duro-Last operations. To date, more than 80 million pounds of PVC have been reprocessed.
"Duro-Last is a recognized leader in sustainability, and PVC is often called a 'champion in recycling' as it can be recycled multiple times without loss of performance," Gentoso said. "This aligns with Holcim Building Envelope's goals to decarbonize building and embrace a circular economy."
Other environmentally friendly advantages include product longevity exceeding 50 years and energy efficiency through low thermal conductivity, Gentoso added.
She said every market and business line within the Holcim group of companies is responsible for building and delivering a road map for carbon reduction across operations and products.
"Holcim is working towards its goal of building progress for people and the planet — setting the standard for a more sustainable construction industry and world," Gentoso said.
The transaction follows three others that support Holcim's expansion into the North American roofing market.
The acquisition streak also has included Malarkey Roofing Products, a Portland, Ore.-based manufacturer of residential products like shingles and water barriers; Firestone Building Products, a Nashville, Tenn.-based manufacturer of commercial roofing and building envelope products; and a facility near Hagerstown, Md., that produces fiberglass mat, a key component of Malarkey's sustainable shingles and Isogard-brand insulation boards.
Holcim operates three other business segments — cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates — and employs about 70,000 people. The company posted net sales of 26.8 billion Swiss francs ($29.87 billion) in 2021.