LUMBERYARDS

Associated Building Material Distributors hires branding firm

BY Brae Canlen

The Associated Building Material Distributors of America (ABM), an association for independent building material and millwork wholesale distributors, has partnered with Modamedia Communications to provide brand, Web and marketing services to the association and serve as a resource to its members. In addition, Modamedia will enhance member and trade communications.

“We are constantly looking for strong partners to better support our organization, our members and industry allied partners,” said Garry Tabor, the organization’s executive VP. “Modamedia is partnering with us on positioning our association in the marketplace, and is a valuable partner and resource to provide marketing services to our member companies for those seeking branding, marketing and communications support services.” 

Modamedia is a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm that offers marketing planning, brand strategy, advertising, online and interactive marketing, multimedia and video services.

Near term, Modamedia will be working with the ABM team to update the company’s brand strategy, launch a new website, and build a marketing strategy. The new strategy elements will be released at the association’s March 2013 convention.

Based in El Dorado Hills, Calif., ABM is an association for independent building material and millwork wholesale distributors. It was formed in 1975 and currently has 46 member-distributors who serve all 50 states and Canada. ABM has supplier agreements with approximately 65 industry-leading manufacturers. 

The association negotiates rebate programs and also conducts management seminars, provides financial analysis, comparative industry benchmarking metrics, and other key industry indicators and trends analysis to its members.

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BFS amends loan, increases liquidity

BY Brae Canlen

Dallas-based pro dealer Builders FirstSource has announced it amended its first-lien term loan agreement with affiliates of Highbridge Principal Strategies to enhance its liquidity position to support both current and anticipated increases in sales volume.

Floyd Sherman, CEO of Builders FirstSource, said in a prepared statement: "Our year-over-year sales growth exceeded 30% in each of the past four quarters, and we currently see no signs of our sales pace slowing. This strong growth prompted us to proactively seek additional liquidity to support our higher working capital requirements. We believe the $93 million of incremental liquidity to be provided by this transaction will enable us to continue growing market share and take further advantage of improving demand for housing."

Material terms of the amendment include:

• Increasing the principal amount by $65 million;

• The additional principal was issued at 95.5%, resulting in approximately $60 million of net cash received after fees and expenses, with no modifications to interest rate and maturity;

• Reducing the minimum cash requirement from $35 million to $15 million;

• Adding a separate $15 million letter of credit (LC) commitment by SunTrust Bank, which is expected to reduce the company’s current cash collateral requirement for LC’s by approximately $13 million upon satisfaction of certain post-closing conditions; and

• Increasing the minimum specified collateral value to $225 million, contingent upon maintaining certain levels of qualified cash.

Chad Crow, the company’s CFO and senior VP, added: "Our cash usage for fiscal 2012 is expected to be higher than recent guidance due to the increase in working capital necessary to support our higher-than forecasted sales volume, combined with continued commodity lumber and lumber sheet goods price inflation.”

Crow said the LBM chain now expects to end the year with approximately $130 million of cash and $115 million of net liquidity. “Within the next 60 days, we expect an additional $13 million of liquidity to become available upon satisfaction of certain conditions related to our new LC facility," he said.

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HomeSphere partners with Lebhar-Friedman’s new e-zine

BY Ken Clark

Technology provider to the residential construction community HomeSphere Inc. announced a partnership with Lebhar-Friedman’s soon-to-launch digital magazine Residential Building Products and Technology. As a sponsoring partner, HomeSphere will offer its customers access to Residential Building Products and Technology, the first publication in the industry to deliver cutting-edge content for the residential home-building and remodeling industry through the use of a digital platform equipped with the latest interactive media tools. 

“At HomeSphere we have a passion for building products, and we see how rapidly technology is changing this industry,” said Glenn Renner, president and COO of HomeSphere. “We are excited to partner with and promote this one-of-a-kind digital publication, as it is a great fit and a real benefit for our customers to be among the first to receive this type of building insight and product information.”

Both HomeSphere and Lebhar-Friedman provide products and services that connect builders and building product manufacturers more directly through technology. With its exclusive focus on the most influential members of the building team, Residential Building Products and Technology serves the unique needs of the home-building market with editorial that focuses on product information, design ideas, industry trends and business solutions. 

“More construction professionals are relying on digital platforms, specifically tablets, and are frequently on the go,” said Jack Brannigan, VP and group publisher of the Residential Product Group at Lebhar-Friedman. “Because of this, the Lebhar-Friedman team will produce content that can be quickly consumed and accessed — on coffee runs, trade show floors, job sites and with clients. With HomeSphere’s strong focus on providing cutting edge technology to their customers, we believe this will be a win-win partnership for both companies’ customers.” 

Residential Building Products and Technology will launch its website and inaugural issue in January 2013. Lebhar-Friedman and HomeSphere will continue to showcase this new publication at the International Builders’ Show held Jan. 22-24 in Las Vegas. 

Colorado-based HomeSphere connects the residential construction community to enhance the way they do business through technology-driven solutions. For more than a decade, HomeSphere has delivered innovative solutions to create a truly unique company tailored for the pace and complexity of the homebuilding and remodeling industry. With the loyalty of building product manufacturers, distributors, contractors, builders and homeowners, HomeSphere is the only company of its kind to offer user-friendly, intuitive and streamlined solutions to empower market collaboration. For more information, visit Homesphere.com or call (800) 274-2632.

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