BlueLinx booms with Cedar Creek acquisition
BlueLinx, the Atlanta-based building products distributor, is acquiring wholesale distributor Cedar Creek in a $413 million deal.
The combined companies will offer more than 50,000 branded and private label SKUs, as well as a distribution footprint of 70 national locations servicing 40 states, according to a statement issued by BlueLinx.
The new company will also service nearly 15,000 national, regional and local dealers; specialty distributors; national home center chains; industrial customers; and manufactured housing customers.
Publicly traded BlueLinx (BXC) is paying about $345 million in cash and approximately $68 million in the agreed value of capital leases for Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Cedar Creek, which is owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners.
BlueLinx said the transaction has been unanimously approved by its board of directors and is expected to close within 45 days. BlueLinx and Cedar Creek’s combined revenue was $3.2 billion in 2017.
“Cedar Creek’s commitment to organic growth and its customers as well as its track record of successful acquisitions make it an ideal partner for BlueLinx,” said Mitch Lewis, president and CEO of BlueLinx. “The combination will significantly enhance our product portfolio by providing greater breadth and depth of building products and services for our customers and suppliers across our markets.”
“This transaction will create a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building and industrial products, and significantly enhance the value that we can deliver to our customers, as well as our supplier partners, and end-market consumers,” Lewis explained.
Lewis will serve as CEO of the new company while Cedar Creek CEO Alex Averitt will become COO of the new BlueLinx.
Last year, BlueLinx had sales of $1.82 billion through 39 locations; meanwhile, Cedar Creek generated revenue of $1.42 billion through 31 locations.
Following news of the acquisition, BlueLinx shares shot up more than 80% by mid-day trading.
HD Supply completes acquisition of A.H. Harris
HD Supply Holdings Inc. has completed its acquisition of A.H. Harris Construction Supplies, the Hartford, Conn.-based specialty construction distributor serving the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South-Atlantic regions.
A.H. Harris Construction Supplies operates more than 50 branches across 12 states and generated annual sales of approximately $380 million over the past year. The company supplies contractors, construction companies, and government entities in the concrete construction, repair and restoration, road and bridge, rebar and rebar fabrication, waterproofing, and glazing markets.
A.H. Harris will now operate under the HD Supply Construction & Industrial — White Cap business unit, which supplies specialty hardware, tools, and materials. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled for our customers and associates that A.H. Harris has joined the HD Supply team,” said John Stegeman, president, HD Supply Construction & Industrial. “This acquisition further strengthens HD Supply Construction & Industrial – White Cap’s presence in the eastern United States, deepens its product expertise, and increases its value-added service offerings for our customers and preferred suppliers.”
Atlanta, Ga.-based HD Supply Construction & Industrial — White Cap has 220 U.S. locations and is one of the largest industrial distribution companies in North America.
House-Hasson makes duo of executive appointments
House-Hasson Hardware, the independent regional hardware distributor based in Knoxville, Tenn., has made a pair of executive appointments.
John Sullivan has been named VP of retail development and Taylor Hasson has been appointed VP of marketing.
“House-Hasson has been in business for 111 years because our people care about our independent hardware store and lumberyard dealers and their profitability,” said Don Hasson, president of House-Hasson Hardware. “John and Taylor have that understanding at the core of what they do for dealers.”
Dave Helfenberger, longtime House-Hasson marketing VP, has retired, with Sullivan and Taylor Hasson splitting Helfenberger’s roles between them, the company said in a press release issued today.
“We’re constantly adding new dealers, we expanded into Louisiana and Arkansas, and business is growing among our existing dealers,” Hasson said. “When Dave told me he was considering retirement, I analyzed it in terms of what we plan to do in the future and concluded that with our growth we will be even more responsive to our dealers by having two departments focused on these major programs.”
Sullivan, who says he “grew up in my father’s hardware store” in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas, joined House-Hasson in February 2014, working in customer service and store and business development. He has 25 years in the retail hardware business, having owned stores in Texas, Maryville, Tenn., and serving for 10 years as VP of Distribution American, a buying cooperative of which House-Hasson is a member.
As retail development VP, Sullivan will supervise store-set crews, assign them to new stores, conduct bin-tagging, and develop new stores and remodels of existing stores.
“Giving stores a fresh, welcoming appearance and getting them merchandised correctly at the right retail pricing is a key to dealer profitability,” Sullivan said. “For example, sales increase an average of 25 percent when we remodel a store.”
Sullivan also said he plans to spend to two-thirds of his time meeting with dealers and one-third in the office. “House-Hasson is a company that prizes personal relationships,” Sullivan said. “There’s no substitute for sitting down and talking with dealers.”
Taylor Hasson, who grew up in the family-owned business and is the son of Don Hasson, has gained experience working in multiple company operations: the warehouse in return goods; lumber department; taking orders, billing; credit department; and the last eight years in the marketing department, the company said.
“This gives me a solid background in what we do, and need to do, for our dealers,” Taylor Hasson said, noting that the company plans to continue growing “advertising effectiveness for our dealers in both the digital and print areas.”
“Digital is a big factor right now, and we’re going to help dealers make the most of it in their use of advertising and with social media,” he said. “These platforms are constantly expanding in their capabilities and reach, and we want our dealers to benefit from them.”
Still, print remains an important medium to many of House-Hasson’s dealers. The company plans to grow the medium’s ability to get more customers into dealer stores while improving vendor programs and marketing initiatives, according to Taylor Hasson.
Helfenberger retired after 30 years with House-Hasson. He said working with the people he’s come to know over the years is the most difficult part of stepping down.
“I’ll miss all the good friends that I have worked with and forging relationships and friendships with dealers and families that own hardware and lumberyard stores and the challenge of helping them compete against their competition,” Helfenberger said.
“It has been a great run for me at House-Hasson,” he added. “I’m grateful to Don and everyone here, and I’m looking forward to seeing the good things that John and Taylor will do in their new roles.”
Don Hasson said Helfenberger’s work has meant a great deal to the company and its dealer customers.
“I’m grateful for the dedication, ability, and care that he put into his work every day. I wish him all the best in his retirement,” Hasson said.
House-Hasson serves more than 2,500 dealers in 22 states and the Caribbean.