The Tom Pritzker and Gigi Pritzker Pucker families—branches of the seventh-richest family in the U.S. are acquiring Lithko Contracting Inc., an Ohio concrete contractor with 1,500 employees. The all-cash deal is expected to close March 31, reports the Pritzker Organization, a Chicago merchant bank that represents Pritzker family interests. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Lithko, headquartered in Liberty Township, Ohio, specializes in walls, structural frames, slabs, site work, foundations, pre-construction services and “tilt-up” construction, where concrete components are pre-formed, pushed or pulled up from the ground, and then braced into place. The company has more than 400 clients.
The Chicago-based Pritzker family, which made its fortune with the creation of Hyatt Hotels, has a net worth of $30 billion and includes 11 individual billionaires, according to Forbes. The Pritzker Organization has overseen portfolio companies across manufacturing, logistics, life sciences, hospitality, healthcare and services industries, including Hyatt Hotels, Triton Container and the Marmon Group. Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Pritzker Organization, said that the family was investing to support growth in the Lithko business over the long term.
More and more wealthy families have been investing in middle-market M&A directly, increasingly competing with private equity for targets. Another branch of the Pritzker family has been especially active with its investment business, the Pritzker Group, headed by brothers Anthony and J.B. Pritzker. The Pritzker Group targets companies with enterprise values of $100 million to $500 million. Its investments have included PLZ Aeroscience Corp. and Technimark, which sells plastic packaging and components. (Anthony and J.B. Pritzker are brothers and cousins, respectively, to Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Tom Pritzker, whose families acquired Lithko.)
Construction spending has been trending up, spurring M&A in related businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, overall construction spending in the U.S. totaled $1.1 billion in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 10.4 percent from one year earlier.
For the Pritzker-Lithko deal, BMO Harris Bank, Fifth Third and KeyBank are providing debt financing, and BMO is the lead arranger. Lithko’s financial adviser on the deal is Baird—the middle-market investment bank-- with Squire Patton Boggs acting as Lithko’s legal adviser on the transaction. For Pritzker, Latham & Watkins is the legal adviser on the transaction.