Odessa firm purchased by Rinker

Published March 3, 2006

An Australian company's designs on the Tampa Bay area's construction boom is good news for an Odessa manufacturer.

Rinker Group Ltd., a Sydney company that calls itself Florida's largest building-materials supplier and one of the world's top 10, said Thursday it is acquiring Keys Concrete of Odessa.

Keys has seven concrete- or block-making plants in the Tampa Bay area and had earnings of about $75-million in 2005. Terms were not disclosed.

Florida is fertile ground for Rinker. The company has made five acquisitions in the state since 2005, including Keys. The strength of its performance here and in Arizona helped boost its profits 48 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31. About 80 percent of Rinker's revenues and earnings come from the U.S. market. The company's stock trades on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Rinker made some waves locally in 2004 when it recruited then-Tampa port director George Williamson to join its Florida operation.

Scott Barancik can be reached at barancik@sptimes.com or 727 893-8751.