(Adds details of settlement, share prices)
WASHINGTON, June 26 Martin Marietta Materials
Inc must divest an Oklahoma quarry and two Texas rail
yards in order to proceed with its proposed $2.7 billion
acquisition of Texas Industries Inc, the U.S. Department
of Justice said on Thursday.
Without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition was likely
to result in higher prices for purchasers of aggregate in parts
of the Dallas metropolitan area because of a dearth of
competition, the DOJ said.
Aggregate, a crushed stone produced at quarries or mines, is
used in a variety of applications, such as road construction,
and for the production of ready-to-mix concrete and asphalt.
The DOJ's anti-trust division and the state of Texas on
Thursday filed a civil lawsuit to block the proposed
transaction, and at the same time filed a proposed settlement to
resolve competitive concerns.
Among the beneficiaries of the actions will be the Texas
Department of Transportation, for whom Martin Marietta and Texas
Industries are two of the only three suppliers of aggregate for
road building and other infrastructure projects.
Under the proposed consent decree, North Carolina-based
Martin Marietta must divest its North Troy aggregate quarry in
Mill Creek, Oklahoma, and rail yards in Dallas and Frisco,
Texas, to approved buyers.
In midday U.S. trading Martin Marietta was down 0.7 percent
at $130.00 per share and Texas Industries was down 0.9 percent
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Edited by Susan Heavey and Bill