Local quarries not on list of those sold by LaFarge

CONYERS -- Two area quarries owned by LaFarge are not on a list of six in Georgia to be sold by the company.

LaFarge announced Thursday that it has signed binding agreements for the sale of six aggregate quarries in Georgia for a total of $160 million. The quarries represented less than 1 percent of company sales in North America in 2001, according to LaFarge

Joelle Lipski-Rockwood, director of communications for LaFarge in the U.S., said the Lithonia and Newton quarries have not been sold, but that the company is looking to focus its geographic footprint in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River regions.

"We will likely look to divest them over time," she said. "For the buyer we were talking to, they didn't really fit with what they wanted to do."

Lipski-Rockwood said she could not disclose the buyer of the other six quarries at this time.

"During this transitional period we need to go through regulatory approval, and that can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days," she said. "Once that is through it will be up to the discretion of the buyers whether or not they want to make those acquisitions public."

LaFarge bought the Lithonia and Newton quarries in 2001 from Blue Circle. There are approximately eight employees at the Newton quarry, which is located in Oxford, and 13 at the Lithonia quarry.

Lipski-Rockwood said LaFarge is looking for buyers who will consider the Lithonia and Newton quarries as part of their long-term strategy.

"We want to make sure the buyers see these operations as a priority," she said.

With the sale of the six quarries in Georgia, LaFarge will still have four quarries and a gravel operation in the state.

LaFarge North America Inc. has more than 270 industrial and distribution sites and 4,200 employees in 41 states in its U.S. cement, aggregate, concrete and gypsum businesses, according to the company.

The LaFarge Group is the world leader in building materials, with 68,000 employees in 64 countries.