Boral reviews Resources; U.S. Concrete adds vacated ash terminal

The Australian parent company of Georgia-based Boral North America has begun a review of Boral Resources to explore “value creation opportunities.” With 120-plus fly ash collection, processing or distribution sites across the U.S., the business accounted for about $470 million of Boral North America’s $1.56 billion in FY2020 sales.

“We have conducted a detailed study of the U.S. fly ash industry and remain confident in the long term demand dynamics, including significant incremental growth potential from the government’s proposed new infrastructure program,” says Boral Ltd. CEO Zlatko Todorcevski. “New opportunities for supply exist from harvesting landfills, imports and natural pozzolans, which we expect will more than offset the decline in fresh fly ash supply as the U.S. transitions away from coal fired power generation. As we continue to build our alternative supply strategy, strategic alliances and opportunities for partnership will be considered in parallel with divestment options or continued ownership.”

Advisors are scheduled to conclude the Boral Resources review ahead of the company’s announcement of full-year financials in August. Regardless of moves on the U.S. fly ash front, the FY2021 figures will reflect the unloading of a 50/50 stake in Atlanta-based Meridian Brick. Boral Ltd. and its partner, an affiliate of Lone Star Funds in Dallas, announced the planned sale of their clay product joint venture late last year in a $250 million transaction with General Shale in Johnson City, Tenn.

Meridian Brick follows two 2018 asset sales—Boral Construction Materials’ Colorado-based Ready Mixed Concrete Co. business to Brannan Sand & Gravel Co. and Texas concrete masonry operations to Quikrete Holdings—streamlining the Boral North America portfolio around Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone precast concrete veneer, concrete and clay roof tile, plus conventional roofing, siding and trim for primarily residential markets.

Texas-based U.S. Concrete Inc. has strengthened its West Region ready mixed plants through the acquisition of a cementitious materials terminal, bulk storage facility, and eight-acre parcel with access to the Port of Stockton, Calif. Port officials note that the previous owner, George Weinberger Properties, had leased the site to Boral Resources.

“This provides better control of our supply chain,” says U.S. Concrete CEO Ronnie Pruitt. “With the supply of our Orca aggregates through existing Polaris terminal operations and now the addition of cementitious materials, we are building sourcing options into [the San Francisco Bay Area] market, which will improve margins over the long-term while successfully fulfilling strategic growth initiatives.”

In mid-March, the producer closed on 1,500-plus acres and an underlying royalty agreement associated with the Orca Quarry on Vancouver Island, British Columbia—the principal asset of Polaris Materials, a subsidiary acquired in 2017. The glacial deposit supplies premium, namesake sand & gravel to one southern California and two Bay Area terminals. A Port of Oakland terminal, presently at permitting stage, will afford U.S. Concrete a third Orca aggregate distribution point in northern California.