Industry M&A continues throughout 2023

By |  October 25, 2023
Kevin Yanik

Kevin Yanik

Some major construction materials industry deals were done in recent years.

In 2021, for instance, Martin Marietta added Lehigh Hanson’s West Region business in a $2.3 billion deal, and Vulcan Materials acquired U.S. Concrete for $1.3 billion.

Those transactions reflected the health of the marketplace at the time, as well as the confidence those producers had to forge ahead aggressively through M&A.

The biggest industry mergers and acquisitions completed in 2022 did not approach the price tags of those two 2021 deals, and most of 2023 passed without a deal of that magnitude taking place. Summit Materials, however, made a major announcement this September when it came to terms on a deal to purchase Cementos Argos’ operations in the U.S. Through the agreement, Summit and Argos North America Corp. are combining in a cash and stock transaction valued at $3.2 billion.

Yet another 2023 development – though not of the traditional M&A variety – was Knife River Corp.’s spinoff from MDU Resources Group. With a market cap around $3 billion, Knife River is now positioned to grow as an independent publicly traded company.

Example after example

I put these two 2023 developments out there to convey the notion that producers remain confident despite inflation, elevated interest rates and other dynamics that could otherwise limit the growth of their businesses.

A wave of multibillion-dollar deals is probably not on the horizon. But industry deals big and small are getting done despite the cost of doing business today being more expensive.

The industry’s public companies aren’t the only ones active on the M&A front, either. Private-equity firms have tapped into aggregates for years, and their interest in the industry is ongoing. Perhaps the latest example is the new Armada Materials, which formed with the backing of private equity group Kelso & Company following the acquisition of Tennessee-based Volunteer Materials in a platform deal.

M&A was the centerpiece of a discussion I recently had with Cody Ladd, COO of Minnesota-based Kraemer Mining & Materials. Upon a visit to the Minneapolis area, Ladd detailed how Kraemer is eager to jump into the M&A pool.

One producer who’s been active in M&A this year is Nathan McKean, CEO of BMC Enterprises. BMC, a vertically integrated producer with more than 70 operations in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas, completed three acquisitions this summer that expanded its business in aggregates, ready-mixed concrete and concrete products. As McKean describes, the opportunities in M&A right now are “almost limitless.”

“[For us], all three verticals are active,” McKean says. “We’ve got small mom-and-pop shops to some larger businesses that we’re taking a look at.”

Featured photo: P&Q Staff

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

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

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