Antitrust settlement forces Vulcan to sell Tennessee quarries

By |  February 20, 2018

Eleven quarries near Knoxville, Tennessee, now have new ownership following a federal antitrust lawsuit.

Vulcan Materials Co. sold 11 gravel quarries near Knoxville and another six sites to Blue Water Industries, a subsidiary of Florida-based Blue Water Industries Holdings. The sales are tied to Vulcan’s purchase last year of Aggregates USA from SPO Partners for $900 million, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust suit to block the sale.

According to the lawsuit, Vulcan and Aggregates USA were considered the top suppliers of coarse aggregate for projects in parts of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. The companies collectively provided nearly all of the coarse aggregate purchased that the Tennessee and Virginia Departments of Transportation purchased.

Vulcan and Aggregates USA owned the only quarries serving road builders in the Knoxville, Tri-Cities and Abingdon areas, according to the settlement agreement. This meant Vulcan would have had a monopoly on local projects needing gravel. To prevent the monopoly, the Justice Department required Aggregates USA’s quarries to be sold in order to maintain competition.

Specifically, the Justice Department ordered Vulcan to sell 17 quarries and connected operations around Knoxville, the Tri-Cities and Abingdon. That included 13 active and four inactive quarries previously owned by Aggregates USA, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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