Ash Grove deal lifts CRH/Oldcastle to its latest plateau

Sources: CRH Plc, Dublin; CP staff

In nearly 40 years of North American market development, CRH has announced the boldest move yet for its Oldcastle Inc. enterprise: a $3.5 billion acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan. Projected to close later this year, the deal brings integrated or stand-alone sites from the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest: eight cement, 52 ready mixed concrete and nine packaged dry mix plants, along with 20 limestone quarries and 23 sand & gravel operations.

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Vulcan Materials builds California concrete aggregates reserves in Polaris deal

Sources: Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.; Polaris Materials Corp., Vancouver, B.C.; CP staff

Vulcan Materials has strengthened its supply chain for California concrete customers through a friendly takeover of Toronto Stock Exchange-traded Polaris Materials, which operates a sand & gravel plant and deep water port on Vancouver Island plus five distribution yards in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles markets.

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Martin Marietta deepens Southeast, Mid-Atlantic stakes in $1.6B Bluegrass deal

Sources: Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., Raleigh, N.C.; CP staff

Martin Marietta anticipates a fourth quarter closing on Bluegrass Materials Co., billed as the largest privately held aggregates producer in the U.S., with 23 active sites across Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina and Tennessee. The $1.6 billion deal follows by four and two months, respectively, announcement of two other major transactions anchored on Southeast aggregates riches: CRH/Oldcastle Materials’ acquisition of Indiana-based Mulzer Crushed Stone Inc. (Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia sites) and Vulcan Materials’ acquisition of Aggregates USA (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia sites).

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HeidelbergCement upbeat on Italcementi integration, 2017 outlook

Sources: HeidelbergCement AG, Germany; CP staff

Completion of a $4 billion merger involving Essroc Cement Corp. and sister Italcementi S.p.A. businesses, improved financials and credit ratings, plus declining energy costs, support especially positive investor guidance for the parent company of Lehigh Hanson, Inc. “2016 was an exceptional year,” affirms HeidelbergCement Chairman Dr. Bernd Scheifele. “With the successful takeover of Italcementi, we have accelerated our growth and are now in an excellent strategic position.”

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GCP formulates agents neutralizing clay factor in sub-par aggregates

CC031317 GCP booth

Sources: GCP Applied Technologies Inc., Cambridge, Mass.; CP staff

The former Grace Construction Products business arrived at 2017 ConExpo-Con/Agg with new sand & gravel additives and concrete admixtures aimed at mitigating poor quality aggregates’ effect on fresh mix and finished slab or structure performance. The Clarena product portfolio was front and center at GCP Applied Technologies’ Las Vegas Convention Center booth during the March 7-11 show.

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LafargeHolcim grows 2016 profits on tempered North American, global sales

Sources: LafargeHolcim Ltd., Zurich; CP staff

During its first full calendar year, LafargeHolcim reported lower U.S., Canadian and worldwide cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments against 2015 levels, yet paced a three-year timeline of ambitious financial and operating benchmarks announced upon the Lafarge Group-Holcim Ltd. merger in July 2015.

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Bestway Concrete brings Burnco into Colorado market

Sources: Burnco Rock Products Ltd., Calgary; CP staff

Burnco has closed on Bestway Concrete Co., serving metro Denver and northern Colorado from nine ready mixed and four aggregate plants, with a payroll of 200-plus. The deal brings Burnco, presently under management of the fourth generation of the founder Johns Burns’ family, into a second U.S. market. The producer first branched out from Alberta to Dallas-Ft. Worth, where Burnco Texas LLC runs one aggregate and six ready mixed operations.

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Martin Marietta, Vulcan close record year neck-and-neck in sales, profits

Sources: Martin Marietta Materials, Raleigh, N.C.; Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.; CP staff

The two largest public companies in construction materials, Martin Marietta and Vulcan, cite 2016 sales gains of 9.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively, against prior year figures, despite only minor shipment increases in their core product, aggregate. In a year that brought each record sales and stock valuations, the producers realized the effects of regional market gains or lapses on their aggregate, ready mixed concrete, cement and asphalt production portfolios:

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