Dillingham may sell Hawaiian Bitumuls to Grace Pacific
By Glenn Scott
Advertiser Staff Writer
Dillingham Construction Pacific Ltd. says it expects to sell one of its divisions, Hawaiian Bitumuls Paving & Precast Inc., to another major Island construction company, Grace Pacific Corp.
The sale affects 142 of Dillingham's 678 employees. Dillingham said in a notice filed with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations that all of Hawaiian Bitumuls' employees are expected to keep their jobs under the new owners.
The negotiations involve two of the top five construction companies in Hawai'i. Building Industry Association of Hawai'i last year ranked another Dillingham division, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., first in 1999 revenue, at $258 million, and Grace Pacific fifth at $52.7 million.
The stock sale involving the two privately held companies is in the final stages of negotiations, officials said, and is scheduled to be final July 3.
"Both sides are working diligently to get a final agreement," Dillingham Pacific President William J. Wilson said yesterday. "We think the transaction is beneficial for both companies."
The companies would not disclose the purchase price.
Stephen Yoshida, executive vice president for Halawa Valley-based Grace Pacific, said he was wary of discussing the agreement while details are still being worked out. He said the purchase, if concluded, would offer Grace expansion opportunities.
The sale involves only Dillingham's road-paving and road-construction division, and does not include the larger Hawaiian Dredging Co., said Wilson, who also is president of Hawaiian Dredging.
He said company officials first informed Hawaiian Bitumuls workers of the sales negotiations two weeks ago as talks reached advanced stages.
Wilson said Dillingham has operated commercial contractor Hawaiian Dredging separately from Hawaiian Bitumuls, so the sale will have little effect on its better-known contractor.
Negotiations have been taking place during a busy time for Dillingham Pacific, as the company completed construction last week of the Kalia Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. This week Hawaiian Dredging is expected to finish work on the Consolidated Ward 16 theater complex at Victoria Ward Center.
Dillingham Construction Pacific is based in Honolulu; parent Dillingham Construction has headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif.
In addition to paving activities, Grace Pacific operates a basalt quarry in Makakilo.