MDU Resources Group has closed on Sweetman Const. Co., an integrated ready mixed, aggregates and asphalt producer operating in the Sioux Falls, S.D., market as Concrete Materials Co. The company and its 260 employees join the North Central Region—Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska—of MDU’s Knife River Corp. construction materials subsidiary.
With upwards of 55 million tons of reserves, Sweetman aggregate operations serve seven sister ready mixed concrete and three asphalt plants. The company also owns a rail line and transloading service augmenting the Sioux Falls plants. “Sweetman has been a key player in the area for nearly 90 years. Its team members’ relationships and expertise are important as we look to continue to provide great service throughout the region,” says MDU CEO David Goodin.
“[Our] success has been built on acquisitions like this,” adds Knife River CEO David Barney. “Sioux Falls has a strong and diverse economy. The Sweetman companies have a successful history there, and we look forward to continuing to support construction in Sioux Falls for generations to come.”
Denver-based Environmental StoneWorks has expanded its precast veneer stone production and installation business through the acquisition of VanWell Masonry, a Snohomish, Wash., contractor serving the Pacific Northwest for 25 years. “VanWell Masonry has a stellar reputation for covering the Puget Sound region with a broad range of masonry installation and services,” says Environmental StoneWorks CEO Charles Stein. “Expanding the Environmental StoneWorks footprint into the Northwest solidifies our position as the only national turnkey manufacturer and installer of stone and brick veneer.”
“Our extensive masonry offering, combined with the deep knowledge of our personnel, gives us the expertise to see all customer projects to a successful completion,” adds VanWell Masonry President Mark VanWell. “The Environmental StoneWorks ‘one-stop shop’ belief system is a perfect match for us. As part of their national brand, we will continue to expand our services, reach, and customer commitment across the Pacific Northwest.”
Fred Jacobs (left, with Besser Co. CEO Kevin Curtis), Concrete Products Division production manager for Consumers Concrete Corp., has earned Besser Co. Master Blockmaker Certification after completing the Advanced Concrete Masonry Technology course at the World Center for Concrete Technology in Alpena, Mich. He has operated a progression of concrete products machines over the past 27 years, from 1956 V2H, Bescopac and V3-12 Vibrapac models to a Vibrapac 2000 and now Consumers Concrete’s new Servopac Select at the Wyoming, Mich. plant. Jacobs invested years of running the equipment and undergoing Blockmakers Workshop training through Besser and Alpena Community College ahead of the Master Blockmaker title.
Reading Rock Inc. of Cincinnati and West Berlin, N.J.-based Russell Cast Stone Inc. have merged to form Reading Rock Russell LLC. With 168 years of industry presence, the combined entity is the largest producer of architectural concrete stone in the United States. Its RockCast brand spans architectural precast and masonry veneer units, custom cast stone, and lightweight stone products.
Spancrete has promoted Jeff Winters to executive vice president. He arrived in 2015 with 20 years in precast production, and from Waukesha, Wis., headquarters will be responsible for overseeing precast/prestressed operations in Valders, Wis., Crystal Lake, Ill., and Sebring, Fla.
“Jeff’s ability to elevate operational productivity and stimulate business growth by cultivating strategic partnerships is the type of leadership that will continue to advance Spancrete’s position in the market,” says President Al Antoniewicz. “We have great trust in his expertise in not only the precast space, but also his background in optimizing operations.”
POLYCOR ASSIMILATES INDIANA LIMESTONE
North America’s top natural stone producer, Polycor Inc., has completed a merger involving a brand synonymous with The Pentagon and Empire State Building exteriors: Bloomington, Ind.-based dimensional stone, building product and hardscape unit fabricator Indiana Limestone Co. (ILCO).
“This transaction represents another milestone in [our] journey to become the global leader in the natural stone industry,” says Polycor CEO Patrick Perus. Beyond bringing Polycor a “world-class team,” he adds, the ILCO merger is expected to drive meaningful growth through cross-selling synergies, geographic expansion, and sharing of best practices. It will likewise provide an expanded product offering for customers of both companies, positioning the combined business as “the solution of choice for architects, builders, dealers and other stakeholders in the natural stone value chain.”
“Our business today touches the lives of dealers, fabricators, distributors and architects worldwide,” affirms ILCO CEO Tom Quigley. “We are proud to be a part of a great industry. Now, by joining with Polycor, a business partner with whom we share common values, passion and ambition, there is unlimited potential to expand our offering and deliver even greater value to our customers.”
All plants and quarries will continue to operate as normal, with both the Polycor and ILCO management teams leading their respective business operations. Existing ILCO shareholders will become significant minority shareholders in the go-forward entity as the business embarks on its next phase of growth. With a more diversified and expansive geographic presence, ILCO’s central Indiana office will serve as a primary base to support continued expansion in North America. The transaction was closed shortly after Polycor’s recent acquisition of four limestone quarries in France, positioning the company with 44 stone deposits and a payroll exceeding 1,100.