California firm buys Everett’s Wilder Construction

EVERETT — A California company that already owns a majority of Wilder Construction is purchasing the rest of the locally based firm for $28 million.

Granite Construction Inc., centered in Watsonville, Calif., said the deal was approved by Wilder’s employee shareholders. Through a subsidiary, Granite already has owned nearly 77 percent of the Wilder since 2000.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this transaction. Wilder is a very well-managed company with a high-quality team of people,” William Dorey, Granite’s president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.

He added that Wilder’s strong presence in Washington state and Alaska fits well with Granite’s expansion plans up and down the West Coast.

Jacque Underdown, a Granite spokeswoman, said the acquisition of the rest of Wilder shouldn’t mean many changes operationally for the company. No layoffs are planned, she said.

Founded in 1911, Everett-based Wilder Construction employs about 900 people around the Northwest, including Alaska. It has generated annual revenue in recent years of about $250 million.

The company specializes in big commercial and highway construction projects, as well as paving, site work and environmental remediation.

Officials at Wilder’s local headquarters were not available for comment Thursday.

Publicly traded Granite Construction builds projects nationwide through its two divisions. It also specializes in large projects such as highways, bridges, mass transit facilities and airports.

After Granite’s acquisition becomes effective in early 2008, Wilder will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Granite, and its Washington and Alaska operations will function as two separate branches. By 2009, the local operation should be doing business under the name of Granite Northwest, Underdown said.

Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or fetters@heraldnet.com.

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