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Fred Smith Co. buys 10-acre site in West Raleigh for $2.35 million

The Fred Smith Company has paid $2.35 million for a 10-acre industrial site on Chapel Hill Road in West Raleigh.

Fred Smith Co. was already the largest tenant on the property, which includes 15,000 square feet of office space.

The site was long the home of graving and paving company C.C. Mangum, which Fred Smith Co. acquired in early 2010.

Jim Anthony of Colliers International brokered the transaction.

Fred Smith Jr., a former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, had been CCM's chief executive for a number of years before he bought the business. 

The 6105 Chapel Hill Road site is near its intersection with Edwards Mill Road.

Raleigh-based Martin Marietta proposes hostile takeover of larger competitor Vulcan

Raleigh-based Martin Marietta Materials announced today that it has proposed merging with one of its chief competitors, Vulcan Materials, to create one of the largest providers of construction materials in the world.

The hostile takeover would give Vulcan shareholders a 58 percent ownership stake in the combined company.

The proposal has the unanimous support of Martin Marietta's Board of Directors.

Under the terms of the deal, each outstanding share of Vulcan will be exchanged for 0.50 Martin Marietta shares.

The bid values Vulcan at $36.685 a share based on Martin Marietta's stock price of $73.37 at the close of trading on Friday.

Martin Marietta and Vulcan officials began discussing a possible merger more than a year ago, and Martin Marietta CEO Ward Nye said today that the decision to take the deal directly to Vulcan's shareholders came after Vulcan officials halted discussions.

“We are bringing our proposal directly to Vulcan’s shareholders after Vulcan ceased participating in private discussions toward a negotiated transaction, which commenced over a year and a half ago,” Nye said.

Wake Forest's Town Hall achieves LEED Platinum status

Wake Forest Town HallWake Forest's Town Hall has earned LEED Platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council, the agency's highest ranking in environmentally friendly construction.

The town hall is one of only a few municipal buildings in the U.S. to receive the LEED designation, according to a news release today from the town of Wake Forest.

Energy efficiencies should result in a nearly 25 percent reduction in overall annual energy costs, according to the Wake Forest news release. Officials also expect 70 percent of the building's energy load to be offset using green methods such as solar and wind power.

Martin Marietta's third-quarter performance hurt by weak demand and high fuel costs

Despite a slowdown in infrastructure spending and rising fuel costs, Martin Marietta Materials reported solid third-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The company, which produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings, had sales of $464 million for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, up 4.6 percent from the same period in 2010.

Excluding one-time charges, the company reported earnings per share of $1.11. That was above the $1.09 a share that was the consensus among analysts who follow the company.

Martin Marietta now expects to ship anywhere from 2 to 4 percent fewer materials in 2011 than it did a year ago. The company’s fuel costs for the quarter rose 16 percent.

Martin Marietta agrees to swap assets with LaFarge North America

Raleigh-based Martin Marietta Materials has agreed to swap assets Lafarge North America.

The company announced Wednesday that it will receive Lafarge's quarry sites, concrete and asphalt plants and road paving business in Denver in exchange for cash and Martin Marietta's quarries and distribution yards along the Mississippi River.

The deal is expected to close within 60 days.

Martin Marietta produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings.

Its business is closely tied to residential, commercial and government construction projects.

Martin Marietta's stock is has dropped about 20 percent over the past six months. The industry been hurt by uncertainty over future government spending levels and the prospects for approval of a long-term highway bill by Congress.

Ply Gem sales continue to be hurt by sluggish housing market

Ply Gem Holdings, a Cary company that filed plans to go public last year, reported lower sales in the second quarter as demand for the company's building products continued to be hurt by softness in the housing market.

The company's second-quarter sales totaled 294.5, 2.4 percent lower than the same period a year ago; quarterly earnings were $28.5 million, down from $30.3 million from a year ago.

Ply Gem sells vinyl siding and other products for home exteriors. The company's financial performance is closely tied to housing starts, which have remained at low levels since the homebuyer tax credits expired last year.

"Given that market conditions for 2011 are expected to remain challenging, Ply Gem will continue to focus on maintaining a lean overall cost structure while maximizing cash flow and striving to outperform the marketplace in all business units, which will ensure that Ply Gem emerges stronger as the housing market recovers," said Gary Robinette, the company's CEO, in a release.

Manufacturing firm to lay off 92 in Wilmington

A construction equipment manufacturer in Wilmington will be shutting down operations and laying off 92 people this year.

Terex Corp., based in Connecticut, notified the N.C. Department of Commerce to say it will close its Wilmington facility by Dec. 31.

The workers affected are in production and sales, with the first round of layoffs to happen Oct. 7.

In Wilmington, Terex did final manufacturing and assembly of cranes for sale and distribution in North America. Terex employs 18,000 worldwide makes cranes and other heavy equipment for construction, mining, energy and other heavy industries.

"While the economy is beginning to improve, our manufacturing capacity is greater than needed to meet foreseeable market demand," the company's letter said.

Martin Marietta, hurt by bad weather and reduced govt. spending, misses Wall Street estimates

Martin Marietta Materials, hurt by erratic weather and reduced spending on infrastructure projects, reported disappointing second-quarter earnings this morning that missed Wall Street estimates.

The Raleigh company, which produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings, had sales of $426.7 million for the quarter that ended June 30, down from $442.8 million in the same period in 2010.

The company reported earnings of 78 cents per share for the quarter, compared to $1.18 per share in the second quarter of 2010.

That was below the $1.07 per share expected by Wall Street analysts who cover the company. Analysts also expected sales to come in at $513 million for the quarter.

1312289053 Martin Marietta, hurt by bad weather and reduced govt. spending, misses Wall Street estimates The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Duke opens orthopaedic clinic, part of bigger building boom

The Duke University Health System will officially open a $12.7 million orthopaedic center near Research Triangle Park today, the latest example of a medical building boom across this region.

While a relatively small part of the Duke medical empire, the Duke Orthopaedic Center is also part of a broader trend of hospital systems opening satellite facilities to improve convenience for patients.

The center is at the intersection of I-40 and Page Road. That's the heart of the Triangle, based on population density, and will make it easier for patients who don't want to travel to Duke's busy main campus, said David Attarian, a Duke orthopaedic surgeon who will help run the new clinic.

And it's close to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, to help attract more national and international patients, he added.

After selling the family business, a Mangum brother launches his own consulting firm

Chris Mangum, who sold his family's construction business last year to Fred Smith Jr., is launching a consulting firm under the family name.

The new company, C.C. Mangum Consulting, will offer fleet management services for road and off-road vehicles.

Chris and Michael Mangum sold C. C. Mangum Company in January 2010.  It was rebranded the Fred Smith Company.

The 83-year-old business operates two asphalt plants, builds roads and bridges and performs a range of commercial construction work.

Michael Magnum is not involved in CC Mangum Consulting.

Chris Mangum said the firm will help firms lower the cost of owning and operating their fleet of machinery by matching the machine to a proper use, eliminate idle time and thus reduce fuel usage and improve profitability, and making sure the machine is properly cared for through its useful life.

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