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Rockwater Gulf Coast lands buyer

RIPLEY — According to the Tippah County Development Foundation, Five Star Products parent company, Babcock & King Inc., has purchased the assets of Rockwater Gulf Coast, LLC. Terms were not disclosed.

Duane Bullard, president/CEO of the Tippah County Development Foundation, said that as of January, Babcock & King, based in Fairfield, Conn., has acquired the assets of Rockwater Gulf Coast, a company doing business in Ripley since the spring of 2008.

Five Star Products is a manufacturer of construction chemicals used in civil engineering and industrial applications. This acquisition will expand the company’s product portfolio by allowing it to offer complete systems for pile rehabilitation.

The new entity, called Five Star Marine Inc., will continue fiberglass composite manufacturing operations in Ripley.

Babcock & King and Five Star Products president and CEO David Babcock said “the acquisition is in line with the company’s growth and diversification strategies and further strengthens our position in the marine sector.”

Dr. Steve Fenelli, vice president of manufacturing for Five Star Products, will lead the operational activities of Five Star Marine. Steven Prince of New Albany, who will report to Steve Fenelli, will supervise. (Prince was employed as plant manager by Rockwater Gulf Coast, and prior to that was employed as a production supervisor by Ashley Furniture.)

Bullard added, “Five Star has been renovating the offices and building to suit their needs while transferring all production to the Five Star production process. Five Star has plans to increase activity by moving different processes into the Ripley facility. More information will be forthcoming as new product lines are added and additional people are needed.

“The plant should see the addition of at least 25 new hires over the next couple of years”

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