Hoping to make itself a key player in high-voltage transmission and substation contracting, Granite Construction Inc. announced Dec. 28th an agreement to acquire Kenny Construction Co. for $130 million.
Based in Northbrook, Illinois, Kenny is perhaps better known for its tunnel projects, especially those in the Chicago area and the company’s role in helping end the Chicago flood of 1992. Kenny ranked No. 200 on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors, based on 2011 new contracts of $172.4 million.
Watsonville, Calif.-based Granite, in comparison, ranks 25th on the ENR Top 400 Contractors, based on new 2011 contracts valued at $1.9 billion.
Privately held, Kenny is over 85 years old and its seven-member board of directors has five Kenny family members. Two non-family board members, Michael Africk and Michael Futch, joined the board this year. The company has 425 employees and projects 2012 revenue of $270 million, according to Granite.
In addition to locations in Illinois and Ohio, Kenny has offices in Breckenridge , Colo., Philadelphia, Pa., Indio, Calif., and Fairmont, W.V.
In a press conference, Granite CEO James Roberts said that in addition to Kenny’s substantial business in power and tunnels, Granite would benefit from Kenny’s experience in water and underground construction.
Kenny's portfolio is filled with infrastructure such as highways, waterways, tunnels, rail systems and bridges. Although infrastructure funding now is uncertain, and Kenny's home state of Illinois is not immune, says Roberts, public-private financing in Illinois is “promising.” About $3 billion to $4 billion in annual spending in the Chicago area can be counted on, says Roberts.
Pipe and Target End-Markets
There are other reasons Kenny was attractive, says Roberts.
For one, the company has a substantial business in cured-in-place, large-diameter pipe liner, one of only a handful of companies that specialize in this service.