Vulcan Materials Company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, provides essential infrastructure materials that are required by the American economy. Vulcan is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates and a leader in the production of other construction materials including asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.
In 2007 and for the seventh year, Vulcan was named to Fortune magazine’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies. Vulcan ranked first in its business category and among the top ten of all Fortune 1000 companies for both social responsibility and long-term investment and among the top 20 for both financial soundness and use of corporate assets. Vulcan is an S&P 500 company listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VMC. Vulcan has approximately 11,000 employees nationwide.
Vulcan’s construction aggregates business has a long history – one that dates back to 1909, the year in which Vulcan’s predecessor company, Birmingham Slag Company, was formed.
In 1916, Charles Lincoln Ireland, a banker from Ohio, purchased Birmingham Slag Company. Under the Irelands, the company was consistently profitable except in 1932. Following the Great Depression, Birmingham Slag Company began to grow in earnest, primarily through joint ventures with other family-owned aggregates companies in the Southeast.
In the 1950s, the Irelands realized that Birmingham Slag would have to become a publicly held company – preferably through merger – to achieve the rapid expansion required to be a major supplier of aggregates for the Eisenhower administration’s Federal Highway Program. It was during this era that Houston Blount, an Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame inductee, joined the company.
Bernard A. Monaghan, a prominent lawyer and Rhodes Scholar, engineered a merger with Vulcan Detinning Company of Sewaren, New Jersey, in 1956.
Birmingham Slag, renamed Vulcan Materials Company, became a publicly traded company with access to the capital markets that would facilitate its growth.
After the merger, Barney Monaghan joined the company, serving as executive vice president and then president and chief executive officer. Houston Blount became CEO in 1979. He was followed by Herb Sklenar, who became CEO in 1986. Upon Herb Sklenar’s retirement in 1997, Don James was elected chairman and CEO.
In the late 1950s, a series of acquisitions brought numerous family-owned aggregates companies under the Vulcan banner. In the years that followed, Vulcan greatly expanded its construction materials business.
In 1999, Vulcan acquired CalMat, the largest supplier of aggregates on the West Coast. In 2000, Vulcan acquired the aggregates facilities of Tarmac. In November 2007, Vulcan acquired Florida Rock Industries, Inc., in the largest acquisition in Vulcan’s 50-year history.
Vulcan remains the largest producer of construction aggregates in the United States, a position held by the company since the early 1960s.
Vulcan operates 334 aggregates production facilities and sales yards. These operations provide a diversified line of aggregates, other construction materials, and related services to all parts of the construction industry in 22 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas and Mexico.
In 2007, Vulcan shipped 231 million tons of aggregates and had net sales of $3.0 billion.