– The word on the street is, Martin Marietta Materials is in advanced talks to buy the industry’s 14th largest crushed-stone producer,Texas Industries (TXI). An all-stock deal could be announced as early as this coming week, according to my sources. It has been previously reported that TXI was for sale. Financial reports indicate that the company has a market cap of more than $2 billion. The move would make Martin Marietta Materials a major player in the U.S. cement arena. TXI is more than doubling the existing production capacity at its Central Texas cement plant. With the recently completed expansion and modernization of its California cement plant, TXI is now a low-cost producer in southern California and a much larger producer of cement in the market. It has increased its cement production capacity to 6 million tons annually and is planning to increase it to almost 8 million tons over the next several years. Stay tuned.