Sources: Oldcastle Precast Inc., Atlanta; CP staff
By Don Marsh
Oldcastle Precast is the main suitor in an eight-month bankruptcy proceeding for Duratek Precast Technologies, with headquarters office and wall panel production operation in Brooksville and Bartow, Fla. Acquired for an undisclosed sum, the select Duratek assets add a business specializing in the design, production, and installation of site and DOT walls, sound barriers, hurricane hangars, safe harbor marinas, and building systems for residential, commercial and industrial markets.
Intellectual property and production assets will enable Oldcastle Precast to take Duratek’s product line to a national level, company officials note, offering customers the latest technologies in the fields of a) Environmental acoustics for industrial, commercial and transportation issues; b) Privacy walls for water treatment plants, airports, schools and government buildings; and, c) Environmentally-friendly perimeter wall systems for gated communities and developments. The intellectual property includes “unitized” construction methods, creating a virtual fortress for structures of any function, and the subject of a recent patent filing.
Duratek Precast served Florida’s housing boom-fueled site wall business, shifting to DOT sound wall contracts in 2007—highlighted by a $12 million, Interstate 75 panel job completed in 2008. Duratek officials enlisted a Maryland investment banker, Equity Partners, in February 2011 to locate a suitor or asset partner, indicating at the time a payroll of 75, down from a 2009 peak of 125.
Duratek’s centrally located Bartow plant joins five Oldcastle Precast operations in the Sunshine State, each concentrating on underground or utility products. It adds to the new owner’s already significant volume in Florida, which in the past decade has become a top profit center for Oldcastle Precast, plus sister Architectural and Materials operations. The Duratek transaction follows by four months a major investment Greenville, S.C.-based Metromont Corp. took in another Florida precast panel and building system specialist, West Palm Beach-based Royal Concrete Concepts. Metromont is in the early stages of developing a major architectural and structural precast/prestressed plant, also in Bartow.