Tarmac (company)

Tarmac (company)

company_type = Limited company
company_name = Tarmac Limited
foundation = Edgar Purnell Hooley, as the Tar Macadam Syndicate Ltd (1903)
location = Wolverhampton
num_employees = Over 12,500 worldwide
products = Aggregate
Ready-mixed concrete
Contracting service
Recycling service
Concrete products
profit = profit $2.1 billion pounds | homepage = [http://www.tarmac.co.uk/ www.tarmac.co.uk]

Tarmac is a company based in Wolverhampton and operating in the United Kingdom. The company produces aggregates and road-surfacing materials, including Tarmac, from which the company's name is derived. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1922 and de-listed in 1999.


The company was originally formed by Edgar Purnell Hooley as the Tar Macadam (Purnell Hooley's Patent) Syndicate Limited in 1903.

Milestones in the expansion of the business included the acquisition of Derbyshire Stone in 1968 [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/derby/content/articles/2006/08/15/matlock_history_walk.shtml?page=2 The Matlock Trail] "BBC News", 2006] , of Limmer Holdings in 1971 [ [http://www.actuaries.org.uk/files/pdf/library/JIA-097/0343-0349.pdf Notes on Financial Times Actuaries Index 1971] ] , of Mitchell Construction in 1973 [ [http://www.actuaries.org.uk/files/pdf/library/JIA-101/0109-0113.pdf Notes on Financial Times Actuaries Index 1973] ] , of McLean Homes in 1974 [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/27/db2701.xml Sir Eric Pountain] "The Telegraph", 2003] and of Holland, Hannen & Cubitts in 1976 [ [http://www.actuaries.org.uk/files/pdf/library/JIA-104/0099-0103.pdf Notes on Financial Times Actuaries Index 1976] ] .

The business expanded so rapidly in the 1980s such that at its peak it had turnover of over £3 billion and employed over 30,000 people. At that time it was listed on the London Stock Exchange as a broadly based industrial group active in building materials, housebuilding and construction.

By the early 1990s it had over-extended itself and in 1992 it reported significant losses [Tarmac plc Annual Report and Accounts 1992] . In 1996 it disposed of its housebuilding activities to George Wimpey under a swap agreement which enabled Tarmac to acquire Wimpey's building materials and construction activities [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E05E1DE1239F935A25752C1A963958260 British home builders to swap some assets] ] .

The company became a subsidiary of Anglo American plc in October 1999 [cite news |last= |first=
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/the_company_file/505733.stm |title=Tarmac Agrees Takeover |publisher=BBC News |date=1999-11-05 |accessdate=2007-01-22
] , three months after Tarmac had demerged its construction arm, to form the company Carillion [cite news |last= |first= |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/the_company_file/297579.stm |title=Tarmac to split in two |publisher=BBC News |date=1999-03-16 |accessdate=2007-12-23] . This move has left Tarmac as a building materials company, which currently owns 521 sites world-wide, including 75 asphalt plants.

In August 2007 Anglo American announced it was to sell business [cite news |last= |first=
url=http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=3092828|title=Tarmac up for Sale|publisher=Building|date = 2007-08-03
] but in February 2008 went on to announce that it was putting the sale on hold. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/feb/21/angloamericanbusiness "Anglo American puts Tarmac sale on shelf"] Guardian, February 2008]


The company is organised into three divisions: Tarmac Aggregate Products, Tarmac Building Products and Tarmac International Businesses [ [http://www.tarmac.co.uk/Ourstructure.aspx Tarmac: our structure] ] .

The Aggregate Products include Aggregate, Asphalt, Ready-mix concrete, Contracting service and Recycling service.

The Building Products include Cement, Lime, Mortar and Concrete products.

Major projects

Projects undertaken by or involving Tarmac Construction prior to demerger of that business in 1999 included the Preston Bypass completed in 1958 [ [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/openingbooklets/pdf/prestonbypass.pdf Preston Bypass Opening Booklet] ] , the St Albans Bypass completed in 1960 [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m1eastamat.htm Motorway archive list of material held by Northamptonshire CC] ] , the Thames Barrier [ [http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/regions/thames/323150/335688/341764/341785/?version=1&lang=_e Environment Agency] ] , the Joint European TorusBerry Ritchie, "The Story of Tarmac" Page 100, Published by James & James (Publishers) Ltd, 1999] and Drax Power Station all completed in 1984, the Conwy Road Tunnel completed in 1986 [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/a55wales.htm Motoway archive: A55] ] , the Albert Dock refurbishment completed in 1988 [Berry Ritchie, Page 99] , the Channel Tunnel completed in 1994 [ Structurae|id=s0000334|title=EuroTunnel] , the Medway Road Tunnel completed in 1996 [ [http://www.rbt.org.uk/medwaytunnel/index.htm Rochester Bridge Trust] ] and Canary Wharf tube station completed in 1999 [ [http://www.merouk.co.uk/structures/2000canarywharf.htm Schmidlin website] ] .

Tarmac and sustainability

Tarmac, now focused on the provision of building materials, offers several products that were specifically developed in response to the need for sustainable solutions:

* Termodeck: a heating, cooling and ventilation system which uses the thermal mass of concrete floors to cut energy use for heating and cooling buildings by up to 50%. [ [http://www.tarmac.co.uk/termodeck TermoDeck] ]

* TarmacDry: a porous paving system which allows rainwater to infiltrate through the surface and be stored for other uses which was developed in response to the increasing issues of flash flooding and the need to save water. [ [http://www.tarmac.co.uk/asphalt/tarmacdry.aspx TarmacDry] ]

* Topforce: a fibre reinforced concrete eliminating the use of steel reinforcement. The Carbon Dioxide of the synthetic macro fibres used in Topforce is 70% lower than that of steel fabric mesh reinforcement. [ [http://www.tarmac.co.uk/concrete/fibrereinforcedconcrete.aspx Topforce] ]


External links

* [http://www.tarmac.co.uk Official Website]

Further reading

* "The Story of Tarmac" by Berry Ritchie published by James & James (Publishers) Ltd, 1999

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