Springfield, MO

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Walton sale negotiations in due diligence

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As negotiations continue for the sale of Kansas City-based Walton Construction Co. LLC to Miami-based Munilla Construction Management LLC, it’s too soon to tell which Walton locations, including the one at 2932 E. Pythian St. in Springfield, will remain open.

“We’re not speculating on that at this point,” said Greg Beuerman, a spokesman hired by both companies involved in the acquisition talks. “The discussions of things like that are being conducted within the context of the entire proposed agreement (and) have not really been segregated out.”

Walton and MCM have signed a preliminary letter of intent for the Kansas City company to sell the majority of its assets to MCM, and Beureman said the companies are in the due diligence phase of the negotiations. He noted that there is no set time frame for completing the process.

Beuerman said discussions between Walton and MCM began sometime in early June.

“They both have backgrounds in a lot of government-contracted work,” he said.MCM operates four offices – two in Florida, one in Texas and another in Panama – and has a bonding capacity of $1 billion, Beuerman said, and its employee count varies between 250 and 300 depending on workload. He declined to disclose revenues.

MCM’s size, in terms of work force, puts it about even with Walton, which has about 300 employees companywide, and about 15 in Springfield, according to Beuerman.

For Walton, however, the employee counts show signs of wear from the recession: past coverage from Springfield Business Journal puts the companywide count at 550 and a local count at 52 and notes that Walton has been in the midst of restructuring for several months, closing its St. Louis and Dallas offices and laying off 70 employees earlier this year.

Stephanie San Paolo worked for Walton in Springfield for 11 years before she decided to look for work elsewhere earlier this year, she said.

“I knew there was some reorganization going on and some changes going on,” she said, noting she wasn’t aware of any plans for Walton’s sale. “It was just time.”

She landed at Republic-based Woodco Inc. in May, but she said Walton’s Springfield office was continuing to bid projects when she left. At that time, the company already was in the midst of the Missouri National Guard’s new $33.3 million helicopter repair hangar for the Aviation Classification and Repair Depot at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

Also in the works for the Springfield office is a new emergency department for Cox Health, Beuerman said.

Companywide, Walton won three military construction projects at Fort Benning, Ga., and is awaiting word on eight more military construction bids, he said, adding that Walton’s companywide revenue projections for the year are at more than $300 million.[[In-content Ad]]


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