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Vulcan Reaches Deal With Justice Dept., Clearing Way for Acquisition
Original source: Engineering News

In a settlement with the Dept. of Justice, construction-materials giant Vulcan Materials Co. has agreed to sell some facilities of Aggregates USA to allow its planned $900-million acquisition of that company to go through.

Under the agreement, announced on Dec. 22, Birmingham, Ala.-based Vulcan, which says it is the largest U.S. aggregates producer, will divest 17 Aggregates USA quarries and other facilities in Tennessee and Virginia.

Vulcan said it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the assets to Blue Water Industries LLC for $290 million.

The facilities to be sold include 13 active quarries and yards and four inactive quarries in the Knoxville and Tri-Cities, Tenn., and Abingdon, Va., area.

Tom Hill, Vulcan chairman and CEO, said in a statement, "We look forward to closing our acquisition of Aggregates USA LLC, which will give Vulcan access to high-quality, strategic assets in key southeastern U.S. markets."

Vulcan is acquiring Aggregates USA from SPO Partners, a Mill Valley, Calif.-based financial firm.

Vulcan said it expects to close the purchase of Aggregates USA and the asset sale to Blue Water Industries on Dec. 29.

DOJ on Nov. 13 filed a lawsuit challenging Vulcan's deal, but it also filed a proposed settlement that would resolve the department's problems with the acquisition.

Justice had contended that Vulcan and Aggregates were the only two coarse-aggregate producers in Knoxville, Tri-Cities and Abingdon. It also said in a statement that the original acquisition plan "would likely result in higher prices and poorer customer service for aggregate customers in these local markets."

Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division, said in a statement, "Without relying on a regulatory behavioral decree, these divestitures will ensure that customers, and ultimately taxpayers, in Tennessee and Virginia continue to benefit from robust competition and competitive prices."

The settlement still must be approved by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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