The Berkeley County, W.Va., council approved a resolution to reassign the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement for the Essroc cement plant in Martinsburg to its new owner Argos USA, reported the Martinsburg Journal.
Argos USA, a subsidiary of Colombian-based Cementos Argos, agreed to purchase the plant and several assets in August for $660 million. According to legal documents, it is anticipated that the Federal Trade Commission will approve Argos’ purchase and the transaction is expected to close around Oct. 24.
As part of Essroc’s parent company Italcementi and HeidelbergCement’s merger, the FTC required the cement manufacturers to divest U.S. assets, which included the Martinsburg cement plant, seven Essroc terminals in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, plus a Lehigh Hanson terminal in upstate New York.
Mark Prybylski, general counsel for Argos, said the company is looking forward to working in Berkeley County. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us and we are looking forward to building a successful partnership with the local community,” Prybylski said. “It’s a logical extension of our existing footprint. We are primarily based in the southeast currently, so this is really a gateway for us to enter the mid-Atlantic market.”
“It’s great to be able to continue business and a partnership,” said Doug Copenhaver, president of the Berkeley County Council. “Essroc has sold to Argos and we want to continue that relationship to make them successful and so the county can be successful as well. It will continue to create great paying jobs and again, it’s all about the partnership. It always has to be a two-way street and we are honored to have people like them and companies like them to come into Berkeley County and be part of our wonderful lifestyle.”