Martin Marietta optimistic about antitrust resolution in deal with Texas Industries

Martin Marietta Materials continues to be in antitrust discussions with the Department of Justice over its planned acquisition of Texas Industries for $2.7 billion.

The Raleigh company announced Wednesday that it had received a second request in relation to its Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act Filing. The company said it is still hopeful that a resolution can be reached that will avoid either Martin Marietta or Texas Industries having to divest themselves of quarries serving the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

The two companies combined assets in that market made the deal particularly attractive.

Martin Marietta said it believes the issues being raised in the discussions with the Justice Department “will not be material,” and that the resolution will be the same as what was proposed when the deal was announced in January.

The acquisition would make Martin Marietta the largest provider of rock, gravel and other construction materials in the country.

With the addition of Texas Industries, Martin Marietta will operate a network of more than 400 quarries, distribution yards and plants in 36 states, Canada, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. The company is also getting into the cement business, as Texas Industries operates several cement plants in California and Texas, where it is the largest producer.

The merged company will have roughly 13.5 million tons of construction materials – known as aggregates – in reserve. The two companies shipped 143 million tons of materials last year, with Martin Marietta accounting for 128 million of that total.

Martin Marietta shares closed Thursday at $126.64, down 19 cents. The stock is up 27 percent this year.