VOL. 110 | NO. 30 | Tuesday, February 13, 1996
Birds of a feather
Merger of like-minded Robertson and Inman construction firms bring increase in management, contacts
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Shared company philosophies, as well as the knowledge that more could be accomplished together than separately, has led two prominent Memphis construction firms to join forces.
Inman Construction Corp., the firm responsible for several notable Memphis buildings including AutoZones corporate headquarters and Campbell Clinic, recently completed its merger with Robertson Construction Inc.
"Our firm has grown, and we are expanding into new areas, so we needed the management depth and additional field supervision that the people at Robertson could bring," said Frank Inman, president of Inman Corp.
"Larry (Robertson) brings numerous client and subcontractor contacts with him that will complement the markets we are in and where we are going, as well as an excellent reputation in the field," Inman said. "All of their people are top-notch, so were really pleased about this."
Inman Construction mainly has specialized in health care and educational construction building. Inman said the company also has a considerable amount of experience in office construction.
Robertson Construction primarily has been involved in office, bank and shopping center construction, as well as specialty renovation projects.
Inman Constructions revenues for 1995 were $45 million, and Robertson Constructions revenues were more than $2 million.
Inman said the ball began rolling on the merger when he pitched the idea to Larry Robertson, whom he had known "for years." Robertson was interested.
"Although Robertson had completed an excellent year, profitwise, we felt this is a win-win situation for both of us," Inman said. "We thought we would be able to accomplish more together than we could have if we had continued separately."
Inmans and Robertsons company philosophies were also identical: each believed in using a straight-arrow approach to bidding as well as practicing hands-on management.
The new companys plan for the future is "to keep doing what were doing, but on a larger volume," Inman said. The company also will be increasing its church construction and renovation operations, as well as office complex and light industrial projects, he said.
Inman Construction now has a three-person top management team with Frank Inman at the helm as president, Larry Robertson as senior vice president and Paul N. Akin as executive vice president.
Inman said the merger was accompanied by an internal restructuring of several Inman employees.
Herb Kalkitis was promoted to chief estimator and vice president, Jon Still to construction manager and vice president and Pat Gaffney to construction manager and vice president.
All three have been with the company about nine years each, Inman said.
Current and upcoming projects of the combined firms include Methodist Hospital-Germantown, Barretville Bank and Trust, University of Mississippi-Connor Hall Expansion, Christ United Methodist Church Expansion, Brighton/Tipton County High School, Brighton Centre Office Building, Christian Brothers High School Athletic Complex, Baptist Hospital Urgent Care Facility and the new Shelby County High School in Cordova.
Inman projects completed prior to the merger include the AutoZones corporate headquarters, First Tennessees bank operations center, Campbell Clinic, the 930 Madison building for Baptist Hospitals and Houston High School. The company has been involved in numerous expansion projects for both the Baptist and Methodist hospital systems and is currently finishing up work on Grace Evangelical Church in Germantown.
Inman said the company began in an upstairs bedroom in Inmans home in 1970. "At the time, my only desk was a door screwed on top of two filing cabinets," he said.
The company got its start by doing projects for area schools, and in 1980, Inman won his first health care project bid for work on the Baptist Hospital facility in Ripley.
Robertson Construction was started up by Larry Robertson about three years ago. Previously, Robertson had been employed by MCDR Inc. for 17 years.
Robertson Construction projects completed prior to the merger include the Christian Life Center for St. Lukes United Methodist Church, FedExs MD11 Trainer Installation and AOC Support Facility, renovation of Promus Companies employee center, First United Methodist Church sanctuary renovation, clubhouse renovation for the Tournament Players Club at Southwind and an addition for Quebecor Printing. The company also has completed projects for Sears and Shepherd Tissue.
The merger will incorporate about 20 Robertson employees into Inmans operation, including six managers, four superintendents and several additional field supervisors and staff.
Robertsons employees will move from their current location in Audubon Woods Park on Crossover Lane to Inman Constructions offices in Clark Tower on Poplar.
Inman currently is remodeling their 12th floor office space and expanding it by 1,600 square feet to accommodate the Robertson employees. The renovation and move is expected to be complete in about six weeks.
The following are the estimated values of Inman Constructions 1996 construction projects:
Shelby County High School in Cordova - $20 million
Brighton/Tipton County High School Expansion - $15.8 million
Christ United Methodist Church Expansion Project - $15 million
University of Mississippi, Connor Hall - $14.5 million
Methodist Hospital-Germantown - $9 million
Mississippi Medical Center MRI Unit - $7.1 million
Christian Brothers High School Athletic Complex - $2.2 million