Philly Frack Sand Company Expands, Buys WI Company

Preferred Sands, a privately-held company headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, PA, has just bought out another sand company—Winn Bay Sand, located in Blair, Wisconsin—for $200 million. Preferred Sands is a frack sand and proppant company launched in 2007. It’s the largest frack sand producer in Canada, and one of the top three in the U.S.

Sand is used as a “proppant” or material to prop open fractures in shale after drilling is done so natural gas can continue to flow out of the shale. Sand is a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing fluid. Critics of fracking downplay the economic benefits it brings, but fracking leads to company expansions like this one, providing more jobs, tax revenues and an overall increase in economic benefits. Not only are sand companies expanding, but local short line railroads benefit as they are used to move the sand to drilling areas. Fracking leads to a cascading economic boom wherever it’s used.

From the Preferred Sands press release:

Preferred Sands has acquired substantially all the assets of Winn Bay Sand, including mining locations in Blair, Wisconsin and Hanson Lake, Saskatchewan, for an excess of $200 million. Preferred is now the largest frac sand producer in Canada and one of the top three in the U.S.

The acquisition will benefit Preferred Sands’ customers by allowing the company to increase its current capacity. Both the Blair and Hanson Lake locations are in close proximity to existing Preferred Sands operations. The access to rail in both locations will streamline and shorten the length of time for transport.

As a part of this acquisition, Preferred Sands has offered employment to the existing 110 Winn Bay Sand employees and will take over supply of Winn Bay Sand’s current customers. Preferred Sands will expand both of the newly acquired plants in 2012 further to further increase capacity.*

*Preferred Sands/Businesswire (Jan 4, 2012) – Preferred Sands Purchases Assets of Winn Bay Sand for an Excess of $200 Million