Jones Companies' transaction to affect Hub City

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The financial deal involving Jones Companies of Columbia is expected to spill over to Hattiesburg as the Marion County firm plans to find temporary office space in the Hub City, according to an official involved in the transaction.

Platinum Equity of Los Angeles said last week it had acquired a majority stake in Yak Access LLC from Jones Companies and Beasley Forest Products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to a published report, Jones Companies CEO Jonathan Jones said Yak Access and several of the other firms will remain at the office six miles east of Columbia. Others will find office space in Hattiesburg.                                                               

Yak Access provides temporary roadway solutions to remote construction sites, primarily serving the oil and gas pipeline and powerline sectors in the United States. The company comprises three related businesses – Yak Mat, New South Access and Environmental Solutions, and BluRoc – offering a full suite of solutions, including hardwood mats, temporary and permanent access roads, site evaluation, design and installation of access plans, and mat removal.

Jones Companies started in 1949 when Lloyd Jones started Jones Lumber Company as a local sawmill in Sandy Hook. In 1976, Brett Jones started DixieMat and Hardwood, the forerunner of Yak Mat.

Jones Brothers Trucking, LP was established in 1999 to haul the mill byproducts. That company has expanded to multiple divisions that provide various services. FV Recycling – once known at FiberVision Recycling – was added to the Jones Companies to support the local businesses recycling needs in 2000.

Jones Ready Mix sold its first load of concrete on July 6, 2002, in support of Jones Lumber and DixieMat. In 2007, PortaBull Storage was launched for on-site cold storage needs at retailers. Growing demand in the energy sector for fuel solutions prompted the creation of PortaBull Fuel Solutions in 2010.

In 2011, Spot Traceability brought a new technological advance by offering mobile pipe traceability. And in 2016, DixieMat and Beasley Forest Products-Matting Division merged and became YAK MAT, and then Jones Brothers trucking changed to Jones Logistics and JB Transport changed to Jones Transport.

Yak Access CEO Jonathan Duhon, who will remain in his current position after the transition to new ownership, said office space has become an issue at the Columbia site.

“This is exciting news for our company, our partners and the clients we serve,” Duhon said.

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