Martin Marietta Materials Inc   (MLM)
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Martin Marietta Materials Inc

Business Description

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. is a leading supplier of aggregates products (crushed stone, sand, and gravel) used for the construction of infrastructure, nonresidential, and residential projects. Aggregates products are also used for railroad ballast and in agricultural, utility and environmental applications. The Company’s Aggregates business consists primarily of mining, processing, and selling granite, limestone, sand and gravel. The Aggregates business also includes aggregates-related downstream product lines (including its heavy building materials such as asphalt products, ready mixed concrete, and road paving construction services). The Company is also a leading supplier of cement, ready mixed concrete, and asphalt and paving services in some regions where being able to supply a full range of products is important for customer service. The Company’s Cement business produces Portland and specialty cements. The Company also has a Magnesia Specialties business that manufactures and markets magnesia-based chemical products used in industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications, and dolomitic lime sold primarily to customers in the steel industry.

The Company was formed in 1993 as a North Carolina corporation to serve as successor to the operations of the materials group of the organization that is now Lockheed Martin Corporation. An initial public offering of a portion of the Company’s Common Stock was completed in 1994, followed by a tax-free exchange transaction in 1996 that resulted in 100% of the Company’s Common Stock being publicly traded.
The Company completed over 85 smaller acquisitions from the time of its initial public offering until the present, which allowed the Company to enhance and expand its presence in the aggregates marketplace. This included an exchange of certain assets in 2011 with Lafarge North America Inc. (“Lafarge”), pursuant to which it received aggregates quarry sites, ready mixed concrete and asphalt plants, and a road paving business in and around the metropolitan Denver, Colorado, and the I-25 corridor, in exchange for which Lafarge received properties consisting of quarries, an asphalt plant and distribution yards operated by the Company along the Mississippi River (called the Company’s “River District Operations”) and a cash payment. The Company uses its ability to distribute materials over long distances by rail and water to further expand its operations.

In addition to the Cement business, the Company acquired as part of the TXI acquisition nine quarries and six aggregates distribution terminals located in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The Company also acquired approximately 120 ready mixed concrete plants, situated primarily in three areas of Texas (the Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton area of north Texas; the Austin area of central Texas; and from Beaumont to Texarkana in east Texas), in north and central Louisiana and in Southwestern Arkansas. As part of an agreement with the United States Department of Justice’s review of the transaction, the Company divested of its North Troy Quarry in Oklahoma and two related rail distribution yards in Dallas and Frisco, Texas.

TXI was also a cement producer in California. In 2015, the Company divested its California cement business acquired from TXI. These operations were not in close proximity to other core assets of the Company and, unlike other marketplace competitors, were not vertically integrated with ready mixed concrete production. The divestiture primarily included a cement plant, two distribution terminals, mobile equipment, intangible assets and inventory. The Company also completed the integration of the TXI operations in 2015, and completed three smaller acquisitions, which included three aggregates operations and related assets.

In 2016, the Company acquired aggregates, ready mixed concrete and asphalt and paving operations in southern Colorado that provided more than 500 million tons of mineral reserves and expanded the Company’s presence along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, home to 80% of Colorado’s population. The Company also acquired the remaining interest it had not previously owned in a ready mixed concrete company that serves the I-35 corridor in central Texas between Dallas and Austin, which enhanced the Company’s position and provided additional vertical integration benefits with the Company’s Cement business.

Between 2001 and 2016, the Company disposed of or idled a number of underperforming operations, including aggregates, ready mixed concrete, trucking, and asphalt and road paving operations of its Aggregates business and the refractories business of its Magnesia Specialties business. In some of its divestitures, the Company concurrently entered into supply agreements to provide aggregates at market rates to certain of these divested businesses. During 2015, the Company disposed of certain non-core asphalt operations in San Antonio, Texas and divested its California cement operations of its Cement business. The Company will continue to evaluate opportunities to divest underperforming assets, if appropriate, during 2017 in an effort to redeploy capital for other opportunities.

The Company conducts its Aggregates business through three reportable segments: the Mid-America Group, Southeast Group and West Group. The Company’s Cement business is reported through the Cement segment. The Company also has the Magnesia Specialties segment, which includes its magnesia-based chemicals and dolomitic lime businesses.


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