LUMBERYARDS

Beacon Roofing acquires SoCal roofing distributor

BY Brae Canlen

Beacon Roofing Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of roofing and other exterior building products, has acquired Structural Materials, Co., a distributor of residential and commercial roofing products. Headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., Structural has six locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The 64-year-old company had total annual sales of approximately $81 million in 2011.

Paul Byrne, Structural’s retiring founder, stated: "I have known Beacon and its leadership team for many years, and they share Structural’s belief that success comes from hard work and a full commitment to your customers and employees. Aligning with Beacon presented the best opportunity for Structural to continue its excellent history of customer service, expand its product offering and allow for continued profitable growth.”

Paul Isabella, Beacon’s CEO and president, emphasized the strategic fit of the acquisition and the compatibility of the two companies and stated, "We long have believed that Structural would be an excellent complement to our existing Southern California branches, which are operating under the Pacific Supply name, and will make Beacon the leading roofing supply distributor in the important Southern California market.”

Beacon Roofing Supply is a leading distributor of roofing materials and other exterior building products. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., the company operates 206 branches in 38 states in the United States and across Canada. It listed in 4th place with $1.9 billion in sales on the 2012 HCN Pro Dealer Scoreboard.  

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Georgia-Pacific case

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could affect the bottom line of numerous lumber suppliers with timberlands in the United States.

Georgia-Pacific, along with the American Forest and Paper Association, is asking the nation’s highest court to overturn a 2011 ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court involving rainwater runoff from logging roads. The Ninth Circuit said that forest road operators in the states under its jurisdiction will be required to obtain Clean Water Act discharge permits, which would be a new requirement. Environmentalists, concerned about the effect on wildlife from built-up sediment in rivers and streams, considered the ruling a victory. But the forestry industry appealed the decision by the three-judge panel, arguing that rain runoff from forest roads is not the same as discharges from industrial sources such as factories and mines.

The Ninth Circuit governs Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case this fall.

 

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California lumber tax dropped

BY Brae Canlen

A proposed 1% additional sales tax on selected lumber products that was part of Governor Jerry Brown’s attempt to close a state budget gap has been dropped, much to the relief of California LBM dealers. The tax pitted retail lumber sellers against lumber producers by shifting fees the timber industry currently pays to its customers.

The 1% tax would have been used to fund the regulatory activities of four state agencies involved in reviewing and monitoring timber harvest plans that are required for all private and public timber cutting. Currently, those costs are paid by the landowners and from state general fund expenditures. The proposal to shift the program costs to the retail lumber dealers was supported by the California Forestry Association. 

The Lumber Association of California and Nevada (LACN) lobbied hard against the tax, citing the additional cost and complexity of setting up a new tax collection system. It was also unclear exactly which wood products would be subject to the tax, the LACN pointed out.

LACN disagreed with that proposal and advocated that the fees should remain as they are and not be an additional cost to consumers. The timber industry wanted the fees to be passed on to the end user to lessen the competition they face from timber produced outside California and thus not subject to California regulations.

In a statement, the LACN said:

"The additional tax would have funded and expanded the budgets of the various state agencies that review, regulate and approve or deny timber harvest plans for the timber producers. In the past some of the costs of regulations were paid by fees charged the industry, but the various state agencies that oversee the timber industry actually wanted the fees and costs to the industry to be increased. The timber industry proposed those fees be passed on to the end user to lessen the competition they face from timber produced outside California and thus not subject to California regulations." 

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