LUMBERYARDS

Dow to close plants, reduce work force

BY HBSDealer Staff

Citing weakness in the European economy, Dow Chemical Co. announced it will close four manufacturing plants and lay off 900 workers in order to save approximately $250 million in annual costs.

Three facilities, located in Poland, Hungary, and Charleston, Ill., make Styrofoam brand insulation products. A Styrofoam plant in The Netherlands will be idled. Dow will also close a facility in Brazil that makes toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a chemical used to make polyurethane.

The Illinois plant has about 30 workers, and its operations will be consolidated with a plant in New Jersey, a Dow spokesperson told Reuters news service.

The Midland, Mich.-based company also said it will consolidate certain other assets in its polyurethanes and epoxy businesses. These actions are expected to take place over the next two years. 

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Paint Sundries Solutions partners with LMC

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Paint Sundries Solutions, Inc (PSS) has partnered with Lumbermens Merchandising Corp. (LMC), a leading forest products and building materials buying group.

PSS is a full-service distributor of brand name paint-related products headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., with distribution centers in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Dallas. 

In the central and western United States, PSS will offer premium products along with market expertise, according to the press release announcing the move. 

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New M&A/private equity firm enters building industry channel

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A former co-founder of Building Industry Partners has formed a new venture that targets privately owned “middle market” LBM companies. Anchor Peabody LLC, founded by Jason Fraler, offers private equity capital, mergers and acquisitions and debt advisory to the building and construction industry. 

Joining the firm’s advisory board is Tony DeCarlo, the former CEO of Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation (LMC).

Anchor Peabody will partner with and provide private equity capital of $10 million to $100 million per transaction to independent building industry company owners and management teams for growth equity; recapitalization or sale; and management team buyouts. The merchant banking firm also offers advisory services to owners and executives of building industry companies, primarily with $25 million to $500 million in revenues, in connection with a wide range of critical strategic and financial transaction-related matters such as mergers, acquisitions, recapitalizations, restructurings, equity and debt capital raises.

Fraler said he hopes to fill the  advisory void in the middle-market U.S. building industry left by Wall Street and regional investment banks, which typically underserve the building industry when they focus on only the largest private and public companies,  operate as “generalists,” and lack deep industry expertise. Business brokerage firms offer narrower and lower service levels and limited technical and industry expertise for middle-market company owners and operators, he said. 

“Ultimately, we think Anchor Peabody will resonate with folks, and we plan on winning them over one client at a time,” Fraler added.

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?