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M&A the Oldcastle way

oldcastlelogoMerger and acquisition activity is beginning to pick up as companies position themselves to take advantage of the next market upturn. Oldcastle Materials just added to its asphalt holdings with the purchase of the asphalt and construction business assets of MAC Construction Inc., in Buchanan County, Va. This is the 15th acquisition year-to-date for Oldcastle Materials. MAC Construction is a family-owned company started by Roger and John McClanahan in the late 1970s. Owner Mark McClanahan joins Oldcastle Materials in the role of area manager along with the company's 28 employees. The acquisition is a good bolt-on to its W-L Construction & Paving business, according to Oldcastle. "The additional capabilities that MAC Construction brings will allow us to continue to meet the needs of the Commonwealth," said Jerry Short, general manager. Virginia's current highway network is the result of more than 100 years of investment in infrastructure and we look forward to working together to provide quality asphalt and paving services throughout southwest Virginia."

September cement production up slightly

The latest story on cement production is a case of ups and downs. Total shipments of portland and blended cement in the United States and Puerto Rico for September 2010 were 6.8 million metric tons (Mt), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  This was only about 1 percent higher than shipments in September 2009. Year-to-date shipments through September were 53.0 Mt, down by 3 percent from those of the same period in 2009. The leading producing States, Missouri, Texas, California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, shipped 40 percent of the September total. The leading consuming States, Texas, California, Illinois, Florida, and Ohio, received about 32 percent of September's total shipments.

Mississippi Dreamin’

Have you always had a hankering to get into the aggregates business in Mississippi? This might be your chance. DK Aggregates LLC tells Rock Products that it has retained Equity Partners Inc. to sell, or seek equity or a joint venture partner for, its 1,700-acre sand and gravel business located off Highway 607, near Nicholson, Miss., in the Stennis Space Center Buffer Zone (no development is allowed in the Buffer Zone, but natural resources harvesting is allowed, including mining, timber, farming, etc.).  The current owner acquired the property in 2003 and invested more than $3 million in infrastructure and equipment.  The operation employs between 10 and 30 people depending on projects in house.  Prior to the acquisition, the property had been harvested for timber and used for corn farming.

Read more: Mississippi Dreamin’

USGS releases third quarter results

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an estimated 606 million metric tons (Mt) oftotal aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2010, a very slight increase compared with that of the same period of 2009. The estimated production for consumption in the first 9 months of 2010 was 1.48billion metric tons (Gt), a slight decrease compared with that of the same period of 2009.

Read more: USGS releases third quarter results

Oils well that ends well

Diesel fuel costs have fallen from a two-year high, dipping 1.3 cents to $3.171 a gallon in the wake of lower oil prices, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Diesel’s decline followed last week’s 6.8-cent jump that had been the highest in more than six months. Last week’s $3.184 average price was the highest since October 2008. The drop – even if temporary – will certainly be welcomed at Vulcan Materials. In its third-quarter report, the company noted that its cost for diesel fuel increased 17 percent, reducing pretax earnings $4 million.