By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on January 13, 2021
With its main office in Kitty Hawk and a satellite facility in Elizabeth City, RPC Contracting has been an important part of road and infrastructure construction in northeastern North Carolina for over 30 years.
On December 18, Construction Partners Incorporated (CPI) announced it had purchased the company. Initially, it appears, there will be little change at the RPC offices. Owner Robbie Parker and his team are being integrated into the CPI fold.
Jule Smith, COO of CPI, told the Voice that the RPC employees were part of what made the acquisition attractive to his company.
“The people are the most important part of any company and especially in our industry,” he said. “We don’t want to disrupt them. We only want to support them and let them continue to be successful.”
Founded in 2001, CPI is a vertically integrated company listed as ROAD on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Vertically integrated companies work together to create more efficiencies in manufacturing, supply and material. With its two hot mix asphalt plants, fleet of trucks and construction equipment, RPC is the type of company that should blend well into the corporate structure.
“We want to continue to sell performance. Do the work where we can make the asphalt and do as much of the project as we can. That’s what Robbie and RPC contracting did. So it really fits very well with our strategy,” Smith said.
According to Smith, the acquisition had been under discussion for a while.
“I’d gotten to meet Robbie several years ago and he and I’ve been getting to know each other for several years now and discussing would combining our force makes sense. So it’s something that has been in discussions for a long time,” he said.
The purchase of RPC marks a period of strong growth in North Carolina for CPI. Beginning in August, the company has acquired four companies, including RPC, in the state. However, with 48 manufacturing plants and offices located in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina as well as North Carolina, Smith said the sale was based on opportunity rather than a specific strategy.
“We look for opportunities throughout the whole southeast,” he said. “It’s more coincidence than anything that for this fall it happened to be in North Carolina…We’re excited to be on the Outer Banks and then Elizabeth City. We think those are great markets to be in.”
Before the sale was finalized, Smith was on the Outer Banks and what he saw convinced him that RPC would be a good fit for the company he leads.
“On the first two days in December, just the commitment and professionalism of all the employees at RPC Contracting was very impressive. And I’m excited about Robbie continuing to lead the effort,” he said.
Robbie Parker did not respond to numerous requests by the Voice for comment on this story.