Felix Longoria, of Texas, does surveyor training work Thursday at the TIC training facility in Steamboat Springs. TIC and Kiewit Corp. officials expect a merger to go through by year's end.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Felix Longoria, of Texas, does surveyor training work Thursday at the TIC training facility in Steamboat Springs. TIC and Kiewit Corp. officials expect a merger to go through by year's end.

TIC aims to ease concerns about Nebraska merger

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TIC founder Ron McKenzie is pictured in the welding lab at the TIC training facility in January 2007.

TIC Holdings and Kiewit Corp. issued assurances last week that their merger won't mean upheaval in TIC's Steamboat Springs headquarters.

They can't say much else about the potential impact, spokesmen for both firms said. TIC and Kiewit, which is based in Omaha, Neb., still are in the due diligence investigation process. A statement from TIC indicated that officials expect the merger to go through by year's end.

TIC is slated to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit.

"I guess the main thing I would like for people in Steamboat to understand is, no major changes are contemplated," TIC Corporate Relations Director Gary Bennett said. "I know there are some rumors out there that are incorrect regarding that."

There are no plans to change leadership at the Steamboat office, which employs about 200 people in town and 8,000 nationwide, Bennett said. TIC, a heavy industrial contractor, started in Steamboat in the mid-1970s. Bennett would not say why the companies were merging.

On its Web site, employee-owned Kiewit describes itself as one of the "largest and most respected construction and mining organizations" on the continent.

"TIC and Kiewit have worked together a lot over the past 20 years, and we have currently some joint ventures where we're working on things together," Kiewit spokesman Kent Grisham said. "There's a lot of similarities in the structures of the company, and we think it's just a great fit."

Kiewit has offices across the United States and in Canada, including spots in the Denver area and Rifle. Grisham described the merger as exciting.

"We have a common culture of employee ownership, strong commitment to safety and quality," he said about Kiewit and TIC.

Kiewit offers services in areas such as transportation, buildings, water and power, telecommunications, oil and gas facilities, mining and offshore facilities, according to the statement. The company's work force includes about 6,000 salaried and hourly staff and more than 16,000 craft workers.

Kiewit dates to 1884, when Peter and Andrew Kiewit formed Kiewit Brothers, a masonry contracting partnership, the company Web site states.

"Kiewit is consistently ranked among the top 10 contractors by Engineering News Record, with 2007 revenues of more than $6.2 billion," the site states.

Bennett reiterated that Steamboat residents should not be nervous about the deal.

"For most if not all Steamboat people, including most of our employees, if the merger closes, most people will see virtually no change," Bennett said.

Noreen Moore, business resource director for the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative, said Kiewit did not have a reputation for moving around the employees of companies with which it merged.

Locals should not fear the transition, she said. There are other things to worry about.

"When you deal with a TIC or a BAP, or these companies that could be anywhere, the housing is the issue," she said.

The merger could draw attention to some of those larger work force issues, she said.

"Whatever questions we may have about the impacts, the reality of it is it's good to highlight that these sectors could leave (because of) housing costs, and the negative impact for the diversification of the economy is huge," Moore said.

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