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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2003

S.E. Johnson to move Maumee office to Findlay

S.E. Johnson Cos. is moving its office from Maumee to Findlay and changing its name by Jan. 1 as the 74-year-old road construction and material supply firm that was acquired in May continues to be consolidated into its new owner.

Since being sold for $217 million to the American division of an Irish conglomerate, S.E. Johnson has eliminated about 75 jobs - including 25 to 30 in the Toledo area - and has sold its Indiana operations, which had 40 employees. Plus, the firm folded its 60-employee Michigan operations into a Belleville, Mich.-based company owned by Oldcastle Materials Group, the American division of CRH PLC of Dublin, and is gradually exiting bridge-building.

“We just won't be bidding on additional bridge projects,” Bob Bethel, the company's employee relations manager, said yesterday.

It has not been determined how many of the 50 office employees in Maumee will be affected by the move to Findlay, Mr. Bethel said. S.E. Johnson had 75 headquarters employees at the time of the acquisition, a number that has been reduced through layoffs and attrition, and about 1,200 employees overall last year at the construction season's peak, he said.

About 50 employees will be housed in a new Findlay location, which will be a northwest Ohio hub after consolidating the S.E. Johnson offices from Maumee and Findlay with the Belle Center and Lima offices of another Oldcastle business, Shelly Co. of Thornville, Ohio, Mr. Bethel said. S.E. Johnson will operate under the name Shelly, he said.

Findlay was chosen as the consolidation site because it was central to the four offices and the northwest Ohio area to be served, Mr. Bethel said. That area includes 16 asphalt plants and eight limestone quarries, which will maintain the Stoneco name, he said.

Shelly will maintain a Toledo area branch office to focus on asphalt paving and associated construction, he said.

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