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ATL Business Chronicle Maria's Metro

Column: DPR completes acquisition of Hardin Construction

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, April 19, 2013

California-based DPR Construction firm is the new owner of Hardin Construction, an Atlanta-based builder that was founded in 1946. The previously announced deal closed on April 15.

From now on, the combined company will be named DPR except in the Atlanta market (Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee) where it will be branded as DPR Hardin Construction.

Doug Woods, one of the co-founders and president of DPR, was in Atlanta this week to meet with Hardin employees and to close the deal. DPR, founded in 1990, has operations in 18 offices around the country.

“This was our first acquisition,” Woods said, adding that DPR was interested in being able to leverage Hardin’s footprint in the Southeast. “It’s been a tough market for us to break into.”

Plus, Woods said he believes the Southeast will continue to grow. “This area has tremendous growth potential in all areas that we serve,” Woods said. The company expects to hire new employees.

In anticipation of the acquisition, however, there have been layoffs where there were redundancies. Prior to the announcement of the deal, Hardin had 260 employees across the Southeast, and since then 24 people have been laid off in Atlanta and another six at its other offices. A total of 230 Hardin employees now are DPR employees.

Russ Brockelbank, an Atlanta native who spent more than 15 years with Hardin, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company in Atlanta.

Brantley Barrow, who has been Hardin’s chairman, will stay on to work on customer relations and helping out in the community. Former Hardin President Bill Pinto will serve in a similar role.

“We certainly want to continue what Hardin has been doing here locally in the community,” Woods said. “We have a 2030 mission to be one of the most admired companies in the country.”

Accelerating at Asbury

The mood at Asbury Automotive Group’s annual meeting April 17 was certainly upbeat as company CEO Craig Monaghan recounted the depths that the auto dealership company had been through since its low point in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Monaghan pointed to several slides that showed how Asbury Automotive was outperforming its peer companies and how it was positioning itself for opportunistic acquisitions and strategic growth.

The company, which is based in Duluth, had revenues of $4.6 billion last year, and Monaghan said that “this year we will approach being a $5 billion company.”

Looking to the future, Monaghan said: “Our strategy is unchanged. We’re working very hard to drive operational excellence.”

El Dia de los Ninos

In celebration of April being the Month of the Young Child, Quality Care for Children began its annual “El Dia de los Ninos” event and silent auction six years ago.

Last year, it raised $110,000 that went toward the nonprofit’s ability to help 671 families through its Emergency Childcare Program.

This year it hope to do even better. On Thursday, April 25, it is holding the Seventh Annual El Dia de los Ninos event at 200 Peachtree at 6:30 p.m. The event chairs are Buckhead residents Rogers and Erika Bogar King, and the president sponsor is Carter’s.

“More than 80 percent of a child’s brain is already developed at age 3, making the care a child receives from birth to 3 essential to his happiness and performance later in life,” said Pam Tatum, CEO and president of Quality Care for Children.

GE grant

The GE Foundation recently awarded a $350,000 grant to the Southside Medical Center of Atlanta to increase access to quality health care to the Atlanta community. This is the second grant that GE Foundation has awarded a local health-care provider recently — a similar $350,000 was awarded to West End Medical Centers of Atlanta in February.

In addition to the grant, the Southside Medical Center will receive skill-based support from GE employee volunteers. This is the second round of grants the GE Foundation has awarded the Medical Center in the last two years and marks the two-year milestone of their partnership.

The grant was presented by GE’s Denise Cullinan to Dr. David M. Williams, CEO of the Southside Medical Center as well as its board.

United Way, Wells Fargo partnership

Wells Fargo and United Way of Greater Atlanta will announce a new three-year partnership on April 22 to provide financial literacy and management tools to low- and moderate-income residents.

Wells Fargo is contributing $300,000 to Atlanta’s United Way as one of eight around the county to become part of the Wells Fargo Financial Capability Network. Bank volunteers will teach some of the sessions.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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