MANUFACTURERS - DECEMBER 2018

Sika AG has acquired the global Concrete Fibers business of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Propex Holding LLC, bringing its well-established Fibermesh brand and technical expertise into a growing concrete additives portfolio. The deal includes a 130,000-sq.-ft. production facility offering the Sika Region Americas business additional micro and macro synthetic fiber capacity.

“The acquisition brings greater value to existing and new customers within the ready‐mix and precast concrete market,” says Sika Regional Manager Americas Christopher Ganz. “The Fibermesh brand is the industry standard for quality and performance. As part of Sika, we see enormous growth opportunities for Fibermesh, especially in our solutions for construction in big city environments and our Tunneling & Mining business.”

Luck Stone, the crushed stone and aggregates division of Richmond, Va.-based Luck Companies, has extended its footprint into new areas of the Southeast after closing on deals for Stephens Industries, Atlanta, and Willow Oak Quarry in Kershaw County, S.C. The sites will operate under the newly created Southeast Region, for which Luck Stone General Manager Joe Carnahan has been named regional vice president.

“These major acquisitions present tremendous opportunities for our associates, our business and our industry partners,” says Luck Cos. CEO Charlie Luck. “Expansion into Georgia and South Carolina launches a new period of strategic, accelerated growth for our company and aligns with our long-term mission to make a positive impact on the lives of people and the welfare of communities we serve.”

“South Carolina recently passed legislation to jump-start road and construction projects that will improve the state’s infrastructure and Luck Stone is poised to be an active partner in that economic development effort,” observes Luck Cos. Chief Growth Officer John Pullen. Noting Georgia’s ranking by Site Selection magazine as the top state for business, five years running, he adds, “We look forward to many years of growing alongside this vibrant, pro-business state as a result of our heightened presence in the dynamic Atlanta area.”

Dallas-based Commercial Metals Co. has solidified its stake in concrete reinforcing products by acquiring 33 U.S. rebar fabrication facilities, plus California, Florida, New Jersey and Tennessee steel mills from Gerdau S.A. The $600 million transaction represents what CMC Chairman and CEO Barbara Smith calls “an important step in our strategy to be the leading concrete reinforcing specialist as well as a significant provider of merchant and wire rod products. With our expanded geographic footprint and added operational flexibility, this transaction supports our vertically integrated steel making model and will leverage our existing rebar manufacturing technology and customer service core competencies.”

Command Alkon is teaming with the School of Concrete and Construction Management at Middle Tennessee State University to combat skilled-labor shortages. Its recently developed Graduate Development Program provides MTSU and Concrete Industry Management program graduates the opportunity to gain “real-world” industry experience. Birmingham, Ala.-based Command Alkon has fostered a close relationship with the CIM Program over the years.

“A lot of the time, we look to hire individuals with experience in the industry, but that might be a little difficult to find in a student who just graduated,” says Command Alkon People Business Manager Michael Wolfe. “The whole point of this program is to provide an opportunity for these students to gain experience they need. Each department in the company has made the commitment that we are all going to contribute to the student’s success.”

For the first 18 months of the two-year Graduate Development Program, students rotate between Command Alkon departments to get a flavor for the contributions that each team makes to the company and industry as a whole.

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Josef Ott

Josef Ott has joined Columbia Machine Inc., Vancouver, Wash., as director of Mold Technology, supporting global Mold Design, Manufacturing and Service Operations. He arrives with 30-plus years’ experience in dry cast (zero slump) concrete production, specializing in mold engineering, manufacturing, and customer support. Ott will be based on the East Coast and split his time between Columbia operations in the United States, Brazil, India and Poland.

“We have made significant investments in our mold design and manufacturing capabilities over the last 20 years,” says Columbia Machine CEO Rick Goode. “Josef will complement our experienced teams and be a good cultural fit for our company.”