August transactions eye incoming federal, state investments

September 21, 2022
By: G.F. Gay Le Breton and Alexander Aguilar

Three Louisiana companies made moves in August to position themselves for the anticipated influx of federal and state infrastructure dollars and the numerous industrial expansion projects happening in the state.

Louisiana expects to receive at least $7.2 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with $4.2 billion of that earmarked for highways and $1 billion for bridges.

Eyeing these opportunities, Lafayette investment firm GKB Management LLC acquired Boykin Brothers, a producer of precast concrete with a specialization in bridges, roads, medical facilities, commercial and recreational buildings and sports facilities. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

The company was founded more than 50 years ago in Baton Rouge. In 1997, Thomas and Michael Boykin, together with Connie Mack, purchased and renamed it. Under their control, Boykin Brothers doubled in size, supporting Louisiana’s growing public and private construction market. Perhaps their most notable project was LSU’s Death Valley’s east and west upper deck expansion.

Now that the company is under new ownership, its name will change again to Louisiana Concrete Products.

“We see these infrastructure improvements coming down the line, as well as the industrial expansion in the state – from LNG to ammonia to fertilizer plants,” said Dustin Gaspard, the company’s project manager and sales team lead. “We want to keep as much of that work in the state as possible and employ Louisiana residents to complete these anticipated projects.”

GKB Management is led by managing partners Kyle Boudreaux, Garrett Gaines and Daniel Kemp.

Another Baton Rouge company, Gulf Coast Sands (GCS) acquired certain assets of Lafayette-based Shale Support LLC, expanding into local markets of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida with traditional construction aggregates as well as sand for specialized uses. Prior to this acquisition, GCS provided specialized sands, blended sands, abrasives and gravel, used almost exclusively to service the energy industry.

According to GCS, it is now the largest independent, privately-owned aggregate company along the Gulf Coast. GCS acquired Shale Support’s two fluid bed driers, 10 mineral separators and 24,000 thousand tons of silo storage, all paired with truck and unit rail train load out capabilities. The company now has more than 900 mineable acres of aggregate reserves.

Jeff Bartlam, CEO of GCS, believes the acquisition will allow a more balanced use of assets.

“We will be leveraging all of our reserves and state-of-the-art processing equipment to better serve both the energy as well as the industrial markets,” he said.

Also last month, New Orleans-headquartered Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. (BKI) sold its Alabama operations to Thompson Engineering.

“BKI is currently going through a transition to strengthen our Louisiana operations,” said BKI President Michael Chopin said.

Established in 1910, BKI is a multi-disciplined engineering and planning firm providing services for major transportation, flood protection, water, sewer and other infrastructure projects. The sale of the Alabama office will allow BKI to focus on Louisiana opportunities.

G.F. Gay Le Breton is managing director for Chaffe & Associates Inc., responsible for the merger and acquisition activities of the firm. Alexander Aguilar is a financial analyst with the firm.