For sale: J.A. Jones Construction Co.

August 11, 2010

After the failure of two deals that would have rescued it through an acquisition, 113-year-old J.A. Jones Construction Co., Charlotte, N.C., has again been placed on the block by parent company J.A. Jones Inc.

Interim CEO J.P. Bolduc said that although J.A. Jones has historically been the core of the company's operations, its problems are linked to those of its parent, Philipp Holzmann AG, Frankfurt, Germany, which filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2002. Bolduc said that cash earned by Jones was diverted to Holzmann, thus crimping Jones's ability to obtain bonding for its projects.

Jones was ranked seventh among contractors in BD&C's 2002 listing of the largest U.S. nonresidential design and construction firms, with a volume of $1.9 billion. Five other Jones Inc. units are also up for sale.

The decision to divest these businesses followed the failure of a Saudi Arabian bidder that had offered to buy Jones to meet a deadline set by a German court. A deal with British contractor Balfour Beatty collapsed last year.

The company plans to restructure around Lockwood Greene, a 3,000-employee engineering services company with offices in Spartanburg, S.C., and Atlanta, and J.A. Jones Services Group, the company's operations and maintenance arm.

Completed projects in Jones's portfolio include Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the world's tallest building, and the Atlantis II resort in the Bahamas. Current projects include U.S. embassies abroad and a federal courthouse in Seattle.

         
 

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