Nicolais, Haack to lead Eagle Materials post-split namesake business

Sources: Eagle Materials Inc., Dallas; CP staff

Eagle Materials directors have taken a key step toward the mid-year separation of the cement- and gypsum wallboard-centered Heavy and Light Materials businesses into independent, New York Stock Exchange-traded companies. Leading the Heavy Materials business, operating as Eagle Materials, will be current Chairman Mike Nicolais and President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Haack. The Light Materials business, operating as American Gypsum Company, will be led by Chairman Dave Powers, former Eagle Materials CEO and current director, and President and CEO Craig Kesler, current chief financial officer. 

The appointments lay the groundwork for further actions surrounding the namesake and American Gypsum businesses, including decisions pertaining to their broader leadership teams and capital structures. “It is a Board imperative that both companies be launched this year with the experienced leadership required to assure continued success and to provide continuity on the factors that have made these businesses the benchmark operating performers in their respective industries,” says Nicolais. “We are fortunate to have great leadership options due to the strength and experience in our ranks. Dave Powers led the American Gypsum organization for 11 years before becoming the President and CEO of Eagle Materials. Craig Kesler is a 16-year Eagle veteran and has served as CFO for the past 11 years. This degree of continuity and directly-relevant experience gives us every confidence that the transition to creating two separate, top-performing companies will be seamless and that both will continue to generate value for all shareholders.”

As Eagle Materials noted in a May 2019 demerger announcement, the namesake or Heavy Materials business will be a U.S. heartland cement plant system with complementary concrete and aggregates operations. It will “remain focused on low-cost production, operate in key geographies with favorable market dynamics, and drive profitable growth through both strategic acquisitions and organic development of its asset network. The business will operate as a distinct pure-play cement company with excellent future prospects as the largest U.S.-owned producer.” American Gypsum, on the other hand, is poised to be a benchmark gypsum wallboard and recycled paperboard producer.