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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Martin Marietta buying 20 aggregates mines for $2 billion

Martin Marietta Materials agreed to purchase 20 aggregates mines in the Southeast for about $2 billion in cash, expanding its presence in growing markets.

The locations are in Alabama, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee and Virginia and now owned by Blue Water Industries.

The deal comes after Raleigh-based Martin Marietta Materials completed the sale last week of its South Texas cement and related concrete operations to CRH Americas Materials for $2.1 billion in cash.

“Importantly, the BWI Southeast acquisition complements Martin Marietta’s existing geographic footprint in the dynamic southeast region by allowing us to expand into new growth platforms in SOAR-specific target markets including Nashville and Miami,” said Martin Marietta CEO C. Howard Nye in a statement.

Martin Marietta said that the deal also improves its product mix, margins and durability through cycles, along with providing flexibility for both acquisitions and organic growth.

Blue Water Industries, based in Jacksonville, Florida, will continue to operate its aggregates operations in North Carolina and central Florida, as well as its marine terminal business. It’s a privately held company led by the Baker family, including John Baker II, who was a longtime director of Wachovia and successor, Wells Fargo, and Duke Energy.

In 2017, a company controlled by the Bakers, Bluegrass Materials, was acquired by Martin Marietta for $1.6 billion. That same year, Blue Water Industries was formed to buy aggregate assets.

Aggregates are raw materials extracted from pits and quarries, including gravel, crushed stone, and sand. They are used to make concrete, asphalt and agricultural lime, among other products.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says that in 2023, 1.5 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $24 billion was produced by an estimated 1,400 companies operating 3,500 quarries in 50 states.

The deal is expected to close later this year.

Shares of Martin Marietta gained near $13, or 2.45%, to $540.08 in Monday morning trading. It’s a record level for the company, which has advanced more than 50% in the past year and ranks as the state’s 10th most valuable public company.

The company is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at croush@businessnc.com.

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