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New branding decouples Hanson Building Products, HeidelbergCement

16 Logo 200Officials characterize Hanson Building Products’ new name—derived from “giving form” (For-) and “the earth” (terra)—as capturing the company’s essence and purpose.

Forterra Building Products Ltd. spans 130-plus facilities under the producer’s five U.S. and Canadian divisions—Brick, Pipe & Precast, Pressure Pipe, Roof Tile and Structural Precast—plus the masonry- and precast-centered United Kingdom Building Products division. Rebranding is the latest step separating Hanson Building Products from HeidelbergCement AG. The latter sold Hanson Building Products earlier this year, aiming to reduce debt and focus on cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete production. The Forterra brand distances the concrete and clay products operations from HeidelbergCement’s Lehigh Hanson Inc. businesses in the U.S. and Canada, and charter Hanson Cement and Aggregates operations in the U.K.

“The Forterra name and logo have replaced Hanson, but this is a change of branding only. Our company remains committed to the excellence and integrity customers and the industry have come to expect,” says Forterra CEO Jeff Bradley. “We’re taking this rebranding opportunity to reinforce our mission and values: safety above all, getting it done right, and leading by example.”

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The Cretex Concrete Products deal positions Forterra with building, transportation and environmental infrastructure market stakes across the upper Midwest. In its Minnesota home base, CCP is a premier precast/prestressed bridge operator on the strength of an Elk River plant, just north of the Twin Cities. The operation is shown here in 2011 deploying a new, custom mix placement bucket welded at a neighboring sister business, Elk River Machine, which remains under Cretex Cos.
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The new name will be implemented across products, services and communications into the first quarter of 2016. A new logo combines brick- and pipe-inspired shapes with a strong word mark exemplifying what officials describes as “the fortitude and solidarity of Forterra.”

CRETEX CLOSING

Just prior to the official Forterra brand unveiling, Hanson Building Products closed on Maple Grove, Minn.-based Cretex Concrete Products (CCP), with 17 pipe and precast plants across 11 states and a payroll of 850.

“We believe this is a great development as it combines two highly complementary businesses with similar cultures and values,” said Senior Vice President, Pipe & Precast Business Scott Szwejbka. “[Cretex’s] strong presence in the upper Midwest expands our geographical footprint.”

“Since 1917, Cretex has been largely defined by its top-performing concrete products business, earning a reputation for being the upper Midwest’s leading supplier of precast and prestressed concrete products for the infrastructure market,” added Cretex Companies CEO Lynn Schuler. “We are proud of the legacy created by all the people who, over the past century, built CCP into an industry leader in safety, quality, and innovation. However, the significant opportunities we see in the strategic expansion of our remaining portfolio of companies made the sale of CCP a logical step. CCP is a strong business that performed well for Cretex, and we believe it will continue to grow and prosper under [the new] ownership.”

CCP was among Cretex Companies’ Infrastructure assets. Sister CCP businesses remaining under the Cretex umbrella are Cretex Materials, an aggregate producer serving southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois concrete, asphalt and highway customers; Cretex Specialty Products, providing solutions to manhole and drainage pipe inflow and infiltration; and, Elk River Machine Co., a contract manufacturer equipped for advanced steel fabrication and plastic injection molding, and well known in manufactured concrete for batch plants, formwork, cage fabrication, pipe machinery, plus specialized material or product transfer systems.