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Vcna Prairie Joins Levy Behind Superior Materials

Levy Co. and VCNA Prairie have entered a 50/50 joint venture to own and manage Superior Material Holdings, LLC in Detroit

Sources: Edw. C. Levy Co., Dearborn, Mich.; VCNA Prairie Inc., Chicago; CP staff

By Don Marsh

Levy Co. and VCNA Prairie have entered a 50/50 joint venture to own and manage Superior Material Holdings, LLC in Detroit. The move coincides with U.S. Concrete's exit from a partnership with Levy backing the entity since 2007, when the business spanned 28 ready mixed plants and a fleet of nearly 300 mixersÛassets since scaled back with the Michigan economy's sharp decline. This transaction will consolidate Prairie's and Levy's presence and create a stronger company for all stakeholders, leveraging the vast experience of its employees, [and] solidify Superior's position in Michigan as a leading provider of ready mix concrete, the new partners noted in a joint statement.

Superior Material Holdings President Jeff Spahr is overseeing a transition with VCNA and Levy management. The participants bring the new joint venture uniquely integrated materials production and distribution: Levy is a major aggregate producer in eastern Michigan and held a supply contract with the initial Superior Materials partnership. In addition to VCNA Prairie, Toronto-based Votorantim Cement North America (VCNA) provides powder to concrete producers throughout the Great Lakes from two Canadian and two U.S. mills or clinker grinding operations under the St Marys Cement flagship.

The move greatly expands the Michigan presence of VCNA Prairie, which prior to Superior Materials had three ready-mixed and concrete block locations north or northwest of Detroit. The joint venture also builds a Great Lakes states portfolio of integrated operations more than a decade in the making: Brazil's Votorantim Cementos chartered VCNA in 2001, acquiring Blue Circle Canada assets from Lafarge Group, and restoring their St Marys Cement and Canada Building Materials brands. VCNA's early-2008 acquisition of Prairie Material SalesÌ concrete and aggregates properties more than matched in Chicago and northern Illinois what CBM properties afforded their suitor in Ontario. The Superior Materials stake adds Detroit to key marketsÛChicago, Milwaukee and IndianapolisÛfor VCNA Prairie.