Meadow Valley Corp. has found a buyer.
Insight Equity I, a private equity investor based in Southlake, Texas, will pay $61.3-million in cash, or $11.25-a-share, 22.1% over the company's July 25 stock price.
Ready Mix Inc., Meadow Valley's ready mix-concrete unit, is not part of the deal.
The new owners will keep Meadow Valley's management team, some of whom will retain an ownership stake, including CEO Bradley E. Larson, who is 53.
Meadow Valley had been looking for a buyer. "We left it open for 45 days for someone else to come in with a higher bid, but nobody has," says Neil Berkman, a company spokesman.
The company had $116.5-million in assets in the second quarter, with $35 million in equipment and $38.2 million in cash, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It also had $66.7 million in liabilities and $23 million in accounts payable.
The deal, still subject to shareholder approval, should close by year's end. Meadow Valley's outstanding common shares will be acquired without interest, taking the company private and keeping its management team intact. Meadow Valley stock most recently traded at $10.72-a-share, down 23.4% from a 52-week high of $13.99.
Meadow Valley (NASDAQ-MVDO) has a staff of 510 full-time employees and a $150-million backlog in Phoenix and Las Vegas as of June 30, a 30.4% increase from a year ago. Projects consist of a $67.9-million Interstate 17 widening in Phoenix from the Loop 101 interchange to Jomax Road, and a $57-million I 215 Beltway expansion from Charleston Boulevard to Summerlin Parkway in Las Vegas.
Meadow Valley has had a mixed financial performance since its first became a publicly traded company in 1995. In 2001, it completed the complex, $91.8-million "Spaghetti Bowl" interchange near downtown Las Vegas. But the company also ran into big trouble on five road projects worth $51.4 million in New Mexico in the late 1990s. In 2004, it settled three of its original five claims against the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation for $7 million. It bids on many smaller projects now. The strategy has seemingly paid-off, with a 15.5% increase in construction business in 2007 over the prior year, and a 12.6% gross gain in profit.
"This solid performance helped offset weakness in our construction materials segment caused by the decline in residential construction," says Larson in a statement. "While the outlook for residential construction remains cloudy, we are encouraged by the many opportunities for continued growth in our construction services business."