May 2008 – AggBeat

AggMan Staff | Published on May 1, 2008

For daily news updates and Web-exclusive news items, visit the “Industry Breaking News” section on our Web site at www.aggman.com

by Tina Grady Barbaccia, Senior Editor

Are You Ready for a  Crisis?

How one company gets prepared.

The Shelly Co., an Oldcastle Materials Group company, took crisis management training to the next level by producing a mock fly-rock incident video shot on site at its East Fultonham, Ohio, aggregates operation. Operations Manager Jerry Mock decided to create the video as part of the site’s crisis management training program and to present at his annual plant manager’s meeting in February.

The video portrays actual employees preparing for a scheduled production blast when the blast goes awry and an employee is seriously injured. The local emergency rescue squads and police were involved in the staged rescue as well as Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspectors who were asked and agreed to participate. A simulated press conference scene was included to use as a media relations teaching tool for viewers. The 20-minute video was professionally shot and edited and includes a list of questions at the end, which are used for discussion purposes.

The final product emphasizes how quickly a crisis situation can arise when least expected and reveals the immediate actions that should be taken, demonstrates good management leadership and communication with employees, shows proper notification of authorities, depicts good press interaction, and emotes concern for the community.

“Every producer and construction company should be prepared for a crisis situation,” Joyce Watson, vice president of public relations for Oldcastle Materials Group, tells Aggregates Manager. “Our industry is vulnerable to any number of situations that could potentially happen — it could be an environmental spill, a fatality, a construction accident, an explosion, or a natural disaster.”

Watson notes that being prepared with a crisis plan, which includes a first response checklist, an emergency notification contact list, a designated crisis management team, and communications instructions, will make a significant difference in an operation’s ability to successfully manage and react to a crisis. “You won’t have time to deliberate on what to do when a crisis strikes so you must be prepared to implement your plan so that the situation does not go from bad to worse,” Watson points out. “The Oldcastle Materials Group is working proactively to ensure that it is prepared and this video will help us to meet that goal.”

Tilcon Open House Builds Community Relations

Tilcon New York Inc.’s Mt. Hope facility, located in Rockaway, N.J., plans to host its fourth annual open house on June 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the fifth year for the event and has become an important part of the operation’s community relations effort. Tilcon is an Oldcastle Materials company. “Activities related to a community relations program contribute to building relationships, gaining an upholding public approval, and overcoming concerns and opposition,” according to Tilcon.

Last year, nearly 1,600 people attended the event and the facility won a National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) Community Involvement Award in 2007, with the open house included as part of this effort. The Mt. Hope operation expects a similar number of attendees this year.

Invitations have previously been sent to all local K-6 grade district school children as well as to a retirement community. Flyers have been posted at community spots such as a local deli. Additionally, large signs have been posted outside of the facility to attract new visitors who drive by the operation but may not have been aware of the event. Tilcon plans to have a similar guest list this year. The mayor and town council were personally invited to the open house. “This is a great way to establish a relationship between the township and Tilcon to communicate the importance of the industry and how we play part in the community,” Tilcon notes in application for the NAPA award.

Bus tours of the facility as well as hands-on activities with township organizations including the police, fire department, historical society, and mineralogical society will be offered.

“Tilcon has been proactively reaching out to our neighbors, schools, and community organization,” according to Tilcon. “This is a day when families can come and learn about the mining industry.”

Caterpillar Motorcycle Brings in $100,000 for Kids’ Charity

The Cat Chopper motorcycle donated by equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. brought in $100,000 from its auction sale on e-Bay.

Jeff Green of Peoria, Ill., where Cat is based, was the winning bidder. Racing legend Richard Petty handed over the Cat Chopper keys to Green during an event at ConExpo-Con/Agg.

The 150-horsepower, six-speed Cat Chopper was created for Caterpillar in 2005 during two episodes of “American Chopper,” and toured 32 states and sections of Canada before Cat donated the motorcycle last May to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for children with medical needs and illnesses. Petty’s family founded the free 72-acre North Carolina camp in June 2004.

Green compared his winning bid to enjoying a dish of Neapolitan ice cream, which has three very different flavors to enjoy all in one dessert. Winning the Cat Chopper also had three-fold rewards all in one win. “I got the Cat Chopper, I met a true racing legend… and I got to help a worthy cause like Victory Junction Gang,” Green says in a written statement from Cat.

Green’s family owns 11 vehicle dealerships in Illinois, and Green says he plans to exhibit the Cat Chopper at Green Chevrolet Hummer and Finish Line Ford, both of which are located in Peoria, Ill., as well as at various community events.

However, Green does plan to enjoy the bike, too. “Once in a great while, I plan to start it up and ride it,” he says.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Merger and acquisition activity in construction materials has continued at a moderate pace. On Feb. 26, 2008, Essroc, the U.S.-based business of Italcementi, the world’s fifth-largest cement producer, announced the acquisition of ready-mixed concrete producer Crider & Shockey. In the past three years, Winchester, Va.-based Crider & Shockey generated annual EBITDA of $6.5 million and produced approximately 883,000 cubic feet of concrete on average. Transaction terms and conditions were not provided.

On March 13, 2008, CRH plc announced an agreement to acquire Pavestone Group LP for an enterprise value of $540 million. With 2007 revenue and EBITDA of $368 million and $65 million, respectively, the valuation represents an approximate EBITDA multiple of 8.3x. Pavestone, headquartered in Dallas, employs more than 1,300 people across its national footprint with 18 concrete paver plants at 16 locations. In addition, the company operates decorative stone bagging plants at 14 of its locations. Pavestone’s operations complement the existing retail business of CRH’s Architectural Products Group (APG), which operates from 30 paver plants and 11 bagging plants in 37 states. The acquisition offers APG a broader national footprint in concrete landscaping products (e.g., pavers, retaining wall products, and other hardscape patio products) with excellent modern production facilities and an experienced workforce.

—by Bill Watkins, managing director, National City Capital Markets. Watkins is a contributing editor and may be reached at 216-222-7134 or at William.Watkins@NationalCity.com.

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