In a reply to the Mexican government Monday, Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials rejected Mexico's demand to buy Vulcan's assets there. Vulcan said the offer "substantially undervalues our assets."

Vulcan Materials Company is the nation's largest producer of construction aggregates—crushed stone, sand and gravel — and is a major producer of asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.

The Mexican government has been taking steps to force a takeover of Vulcan operations there. 

Mexico had essentially seized Vulcan properties in March, which was termed a "hostile takeover" by Alabama State Rep. Chip Brown.

Mexican police and soldiers illegally entered and seized a cargo port Vulcan operates on Vulcan land on Mexico's Caribbean coast. Mexican police forced their way into the dock at Punta Venado, near Playa del Carmen.

"It should be clear that the rule of law is no longer assured for foreign companies in Mexico," Vulcan said in a March statement. "This invasion, unsupported by legal warrants, violates Vulcan's commercial and property rights."

Alabama's congressional delegation met with Mexican officials and pushed against their hostile actions. After the meetings, Mexico appeared to back off.

In July 2023, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had offered to buy the Vulcan's Mexican property and assets for $385 million.

Vulcan Materials values the 6,000-acre property south of Playa del Carmen at $1.9 billion.

The Mexican President has appeared to threaten to take the property outright. He claims that Vulcan operations damage the underground rivers and caves that have environmental and historical importance. 

However, Vulcan Materials disagrees: "Our operations have not adversely affected underground caves, cenotes, or archaeological sites. In fact, we have mapped, protected, and preserved these valuable resources."

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, an arbitration panel under international law could hear the dispute.

Alabama U.S. Senators Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt have been forceful in opposing the Mexican claims and defending the Alabama-based company.

Mexico appears to need the Vulcan property to access crushed stone and cement for President Obrador's pet project, "Train Maya," a tourist attraction deemed "The Disney World of Mexico." 

Jim' Zig' Zeigler's beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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