Oldcastle Infrastructure adds Hancock Concrete, sheds Building Systems site

In the latest strengthening of its portfolio around drainage and underground construction, Atlanta-based Oldcastle Infrastructure has closed on Hancock Concrete Products, which operates one storage yard and six plants in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa.

The Hancock Concrete pedigree and underground product offering depth fit the Oldcastle Infrastructure model like a glove. Concrete Products visited the producer in a 2013 interview with American Concrete Pipe Association Chairman William Adams, Hancock’s South Dakota sales manager.

“Hancock Concrete has been a trusted partner with a long track record of serving the upper Midwest. Its well-rounded product offering and people first approach are a great addition to our growing business,” says Oldcastle Infrastructure President Jason Jackson. “The acquisition complements [our] existing product offering, while further expanding the company’s presence and customer base in the infrastructure market.”

“Hancock Concrete aligns with our strategy to expand in key growth areas such as the water infrastructure, energy and communications markets,” adds Oldcastle Infrastructure Pipe & Precast President Eric Rhea. “It is a pleasure to welcome aboard such a talented group, and together we will be a stronger organization, better positioned to become our customers’ strategic partner of choice.”

Oldcastle Infrastructure consummated the deal with Morris, Minn.-based aggregate equipment specialist Superior Industries, founded in 1972 by Neil Schmidgall, grandson of Hancock Concrete founder Henry Schmidgall. The latter arrived in Hancock, Minn. from Illinois in 1917 to operate and expand a drain tile plant. He equipped the business to enter reinforced concrete pipe production in 1925 and carry into the post-war era. Sons Richard, Eugene and Wayne Schmidgall guided Hancock Concrete into large diameter pipe, precast box culvert and licensed Bebo arch bridge production. A 1940s offshoot, Schmidgall Sand & Gravel, served as a catalyst for Neil Schmidgall’s pursuit of the Superior Industries venture.

Amid New York’s recovery from the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Oldcastle Building Systems Division showed city officials and residential development interests the possibilities of all-precast, attached housing. Built with hollow core plank plus structural and architectural panels from the Selkirk plant, the Melrose Commons project proved a model for economy and quality, its exterior befitting a Bronx neighborhood. (2002 FILE PHOTOS: Concrete Products)

Weeks prior to the Hancock Concrete announcement, Oldcastle Infrastructure closed a deal involving another Minnesota operator, Fabcon. The latter acquired the assets of the legacy Oldcastle Building Systems Division, primarily a Selkirk, N.Y. plant specializing in precast, prestressed hollowcore plank, beam and wall panels. The operation considerably increases New York and New England contract prospects beyond those of Fabcon’s easternmost site in Mahanoy City, Pa.

“This acquisition represents our continued investment in the Fabcon business and growth strategy,” says Chief Executive Officer Mike Rafi. “The Building Systems Division product line and its strategically located facility will expand our capacity for wall panels and our portfolio, which brings value to customers.”

The company plans to increase Selkirk output and add significant wall panel capabilities. The New York operation becomes a fifth Fabcon production site, joining Minnesota headquarters plus Kansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania satellite plants.