January 1, 2013
M&A activity ended 2012 the same way it started — slow. The constant theme throughout the year was uncertainty, which, as I have preached for the past few years, is the kiss of death for transactions. The year brought some good news: a new transportation bill, improved outlook for residential construction, improved corporate earnings, and continued deleveraging of buyer balance sheets. We survived the November elections, but still face the fiscal cliff and recession fears in Europe.
That said, we were anticipating a number of deals to be announced prior to the end of 2012 (prior to Aggregates Manager deadlines). Buyers and sellers were working diligently to close transactions prior to year-end in anticipation of significant changes in tax rates on both ordinary income and capital gains in 2013. It is not unusual for deals to be pushed off until the very last minute during that time of year. Between the volume of work and the inefficiencies associated with the holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, there is usually a mad rush to get deals closed.
We end 2012 with a good supply/demand dynamic for deals that should bode well for activity in 2013. There is a pent-up supply of sellers and an improving demand from the buyers. 2013 should be a good year for mergers and acquisitions.
Trinity Materials, Inc. will acquire the expanded shale and clay aggregates manufacturing business from Texas Industries, Inc. As part of the transaction, Transit Mix Concrete and Materials Co. will transfer its remaining ready-mix concrete operations located in east Texas and southwest Arkansas to Texas Industries. These ready-mix concrete businesses use the shale and clay produced by the expanded shale and clay aggregates manufacturing business of Texas Industries.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Martin Marietta Materials Inc. will make a friendly offer to buy rival Vulcan Materials Co., rather than attempt another hostile takeover. Martin Marietta originally offered half of one of its shares for each Vulcan share. Vulcan rejected the unsolicited bid of almost $5 billion last year, saying it undervalued the company.