Bluegrass Materials sold in $1.6 billion deal

Martin Marietta buys construction materials firm from the Baker family

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 10:30 a.m. June 27, 2017
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
Bluegrass Materials owns and operates 17 rock quarries,
Bluegrass Materials owns and operates 17 rock quarries,
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For the second time in a decade, the Baker family of Jacksonville is selling a construction materials company for more than $1 billion to one of the largest companies in the industry.

Jacksonville-based Bluegrass Materials Co. agreed Monday to a $1.625 billion buyout by Martin Marietta Materials Inc.

Bluegrass was formed by members of the Baker family in 2010 after the former Jacksonville-based construction materials company they controlled, Florida Rock Industries Inc., was sold to Vulcan Materials Co. for $4.2 billion in 2007.

Bluegrass says it is the “largest privately-held, pure-play aggregates company in the United States.” 

Although its headquarters is in Jacksonville, Bluegrass doesn’t have any operating sites in Florida. It produces construction aggregates and concrete from 23 locations in Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Bluegrass is owned by a partnership called Panadero Aggregates Holdings, which includes former Florida Rock CEO John Baker and his son, Ted, who is Bluegrass’ chief executive officer.

The other partners are a global real estate investment company called Blue Water Worldwide and a New York-based private investment company called Lindsay Goldberg.

Bluegrass built its business through several acquisitions in the last seven years.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based Martin Marietta is paying $1.625 billion in cash to buy Bluegrass, which it said will complement its operations in the Southeast.

“The acquisition of Bluegrass directly aligns with our long-term strategic growth plan,” Martin Marietta CEO Ward Nye said in a news release.

“Through its significant operational investments, Bluegrass has achieved leading positions in some of the nation’s highest growth markets while maintaining an impressive cost profile,” he said.

Ted Baker indicated in the news release that the partners had been looking for a buyer.

“We ran a thorough, competitive process and we are pleased to partner with Martin Marietta, an industry leader with strong values and a distinguished safety record,” he said.

The companies did not give any financial data for Bluegrass. Martin Marietta produced $3.58 billion in sales last year, putting it neck and neck with Birmingham, Alabama-based Vulcan, which had $3.59 billion in revenue. Those two companies are consistently ranked as the largest U.S. construction aggregates companies.

Martin Marietta did say it expects to achieve $15 million in annual cost savings by merging operations and it expects Bluegrass to add to earnings per share in its first full year.

The companies hope to close the deal in the fourth quarter.

Bluegrass Materials Co.

Headquarters: Jacksonville

CEO: Ted Baker II

About: The aggregates and concrete block producer was formed in 2010 by John D. Baker II and Ted Baker II, formerly of Florida Rock Industries. The company currently owns and operates 17 rock quarries, one sand plant and two concrete block manufacturing plants lin Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Martin Marietta Materials

Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina

CEO: C. Howard Nye

About: A member of the S&P 500, the company is a supplier of building materials, including aggregates, cement, ready mixed concrete and asphalt. Its network of operations spans 26 states, Canada and the Bahamas.



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