August 10, 2012

A new report shows a 21% annual increase in cash balance "hybrid" retirement plans in the United States between 2009 and 2010 (the most recent year for which IRS reporting data is available), almost double the previous year’s 11 percent growth rate. Cash balance plans continued to outpace all other sectors of the retirement plan market, according to the 2012 Cash Balance Research Report from Kravitz, a provider of retirement plan management services.

August 1, 2012

Home prices across the nation rose for the second month in a row, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Index, a closely watched indicator for the housing market. The average price of single-family, residential homes in the United States increased by 2.2% in May 2012 compared with the previous month for both the 10- and 20-city composites. On an annual basis, both composites and 17 of the 20 MSAs saw increases in May compared with April 2011. The exceptions were Boston, Charlotte and Detroit.

May 14, 2012

By August 2012, U.S. businesses that sponsor fully insured group health plans could share millions of dollars in rebates from health insurers who spent more on administrative expenses and profits than allowed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), finds an analysis from the not-for-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.

February 29, 2012

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. reported that it has adjusted its 2011 results to reflect a wider loss in 2011.

After the adjustment, LP’s 2011 net loss was $181.3 million. On Feb. 7, LP reported a net loss of $170.7 million. 

The adjustment comes from a non-cash impairment charge related to its investment in its U.S. Greenfiber joint venture due to information received after the release of earnings.

January 12, 2012

Waypoint Real Estate Group, one of the nation's leading acquirers of distressed, single-family properties, and GI Partners, a mid-market private equity firm, have announced a partnership where they will acquire and then rent out more than $250 million in single-family homes. Ultimately, GI hopes to invest more than $1 billion in distressed and foreclosed homes over the next two years, with Waypoint managing the acquisitions and rental conversions.

January 4, 2012

Two recent fires at Anderson Lumber in Waynesburg, Ky., may be the work of an arsonist, and Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co. wants to know who is responsible. The company’s insurer is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Dec. 20 and Jan. 1 blazes, which caused a combined estimate of $1.5 million in damages.

An old, vacant high school in the town has also been set on fire several times during the same time period, according to authorities.

December 6, 2011

Resolute Forest Products has announced its intention to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Fibrek Inc. The offer of C$1 per share in cash, or C$0.55 in cash and 0.0284 of a Resolute Forest Products common share will expire on or before Dec. 31.

According to Resolute, the offer represents a premium of approximately 39% over the closing price of Fibrek's shares on Nov. 28, and a premium of approximately 31% over the volume-weighted average trading price of the shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the 20 trading days ending on that date.

November 28, 2011

Gas prices retreat to a national average of $3.30 per gallon of regular. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, stocks are all over the grid of the Home Channel Stock Roundup.

November 21, 2011

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Nov. 18, 2011

*Western - regional species perimeter foundation; Southern - regional species slab construction.

August 31, 2011

I’ve been in the home improvement industry for 25 years, and I cannot remember a time with so much divergent information on where we stand and where we are heading. 

August 17, 2011

BlueLinx Holdings, a leading distributor of building products in North America, announced that its indirect subsidiary BlueLinx Building Products Canada has entered into a revolving credit agreement with CIBC Asset-Based Lending. The new credit facility provides for borrowing capacity of up to $10 million and has a term of three years, maturing on Aug. 12, 2014.

August 10, 2011

New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Black & Decker's wholly owned Swedish subsidiary has acquired in total 72,005,890 class B shares of global security firm Niscayah Group.

The shares represent approximately 19.8% of the outstanding shares and approximately 13.9% of the total number of votes in Niscayah.

The acquisition of these shares was made through purchases outside of the company’s pending tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares and warrants of Niscayah. 

July 7, 2011

Member Insurance Agency, a supplier of insurance policies to independent hardware stories, LBM dealers, garden centers, co-ops and other retail organizations, has named Scott Reynolds as its new CEO and president. 

Until recently, Reynolds was president of United National Group, a specialty insurance company. Prior to United National, Reynolds served as president of the Specialty Underwriting Division of AmWINS Group Inc., overseeing its program business from 2006 to 2008. Altogether, Reynolds has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. 

July 6, 2011

Independent regional hardware distributor House-Hasson Hardware announced the launching of a new insurance program for its dealers, intended to ameliorate high insurance costs. Made possible by Addison & Associates of Memphis,  Tenn., the program will allow dealers to come together to purchase health and property and casualty insurance as a group. 

June 7, 2011

BuildFax, the national database of building permit activity and creator of the BuildFax Remodeling Index, has joined forces with Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit monitoring firms. The new partnership will give property and casualty insurance carriers immediate access to property history information, improving the accuracy of their underwriting to develop better pricing strategies and reduce the potential for fraud.  

May 18, 2011

Apax Partners completed the previously announced acquisitions of Epicor Software Corp. and Activant Solutions Inc. 

Apax intends to combine Activant with Epicor to create one of the largest global providers of enterprise applications focused on the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services sectors. The combined company is now called Epicor Software Corp. The new Epicor has more than 33,000 customers in over 150 countries and more than $800 million in annual revenues. 

May 11, 2011

Building Industry Partners (BIP), a private equity investment and mergers & acquisitions advisory firm specializing in the middle-market U.S. building industry, has announced the formation of its Debt Advisory & Placement Practice, which will leverage its relationships with the lender community to advise building products companies in restructuring and/or refinancing existing loans, as well as sourcing and optimizing terms on new senior, mezzanine and/or other debt capital.

April 26, 2011

In an effort to raise $60 million, building products distributor BlueLinx has announced it will commence a rights offering of common stock to its stockholders. The proceeds will be used to pay down debt and fund working capital, the company said in an April 26 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

April 13, 2011

TimberWest Forest Corp., Western Canada's largest private timber and land management company, has entered into a purchase agreement with two Canadian pension funds, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

April 12, 2011

Chip Hornsby, former president and CEO of Wolseley, has joined Advent International’s Operating Partner Program. Hornsby will advise Advent, a global investment and corporate buyout firm, on opportunities in the distribution and building products sector. Hornsby will principally work with Advent’s U.S. deal team, which is looking to invest up to $1 billion of equity capital, according to an Advent spokesperson.

March 28, 2011

A "stabilized business" has paved the way for an accelerated stock buy-back program at Atlanta-based The Home Depot. 

The home improvement giant announced the pricing of a $2 billion senior note issuance to refinance $1 billion of senior notes that came due in March 2011 and to repurchase $1 billion of outstanding shares through an accelerated share repurchase program with Barclays Capital. 

February 28, 2011

The Founder of Rent-a-Husband has agreed to pay $2 million to settle criminal charges that claimed he duped investors in his home-repair business, according to an article in The Independent and other media outlets. 

October 20, 2010

Chicago-based USG Corp., parent company of North American Gypsum and owner of the Sheetrock brand,...

October 11, 2010

Barbara Alexander serves as a director of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings and Qualcomm Inc....