Sources: CP staff; HeidelbergCement AG, Germany
A major transaction key to the merger of Lehigh Cement Co. and Essroc Cement Corp. parent companies, HeidelbergCement and Italcementi S.p.A., is scheduled for a fourth quarter closing and subject to U.S. Federal Trade Commission approval. Per a definitive agreement HeidelbergCement announced on August 18, Argos USA LLC will acquire Essroc’s Martinsburg, W.Va., cement plant and seven terminals in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, plus a Lehigh terminal in upstate New York.
The FTC stipulated sale of the 2-million-ton/year mill and integrated distribution network in a June consent agreement with HeidelbergCement and Italcementi, which in July 2015 outlined a merger plan on a 12- to 14-month timetable. Commission officials cited concerns of market concentration attending a merged Lehigh–Essroc business; they will almost certainly approve a buyer like Argos USA, whose presence in markets served by Martinsburg and the terminals is limited to ready mixed concrete plants in Virginia and North Carolina.
The mill and terminal package represent a fifth platform-level deal for Colombia-based Argos S.A. Over a 12-year span, it has established Argos USA as a top five ready mixed concrete producer and leading Southeast cement source through nine-figure deals involving Ready Mixed Concrete Co. of the Carolinas; Southern Star of Texas; Lafarge North America’s Southeast operations; and, Vulcan Materials’ Florida Rock division (cement, concrete).
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