The owners of Penny's Concrete Inc., a company that produces concrete, sand and other construction materials in Lawrence and much of the region, are fielding inquires from others interested in buying the operation.
Bill Penny, chief executive officer of the Shawnee-based company, confirmed Monday that there were several companies interested in buying Penny's Concrete. Among them is Lafarge, a multinational operation based in France.
Penny emphasized that no sale had been negotiated, signed or completed - either for all or part of the company, which has 20 concrete plants operating in Kansas and western Missouri. The company's plant in Lawrence, at 800 E. Eighth St., opened in 1974.
Penny's also has six sand-dredging plants, including one at 900 E. Eighth St. in Lawrence, and another just east of town at 1752 N. 1500 Road.
In all, Penny's Concrete has anywhere from 250 to 300 employees and a history that stretches back to Bill Penny's grandparents, who founded the concrete ready mix business in 1927.
"Several companies, right now, are pursuing us," said Penny, who lives in Lawrence and co-owns the business with his wife, Marlene. "We're considering it. It's a possibility. :
"Nothing has happened at this time. I don't think that's going to happen for a little while, if it happens. It's a couple months out, if it happens."
The Penny's operation stretches west to Junction City, south to Emporia and east through the Kansas City metro area and out to Chillicothe, Mo.
The current state of the economy has nothing to do with the interest from other companies, nor is the economy driving the Pennys' considerations, Bill Penny said.
"There is just a lot of consolidation going on," he said.