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Gary Vitale to head NAWLA

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) announced the appointment of Gary Vitale, formerly of Hager Lumber, to the position of president, effective Oct. 15.

Vitale, who served as president and CEO of Hager, brings 25 years of industry experience to NAWLA, the association said in a release.

Vitale will be responsible for managing the operations of the NAWLA offices and will coordinate the volunteer activities of the association officers, directors and committees.

NAWLA is an international trade association of more than 650 forest products and building materials industry wholesalers, manufacturers and industry specific companies.

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39 ProBuild plants join SCORE Elite

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Denver-based ProBuild Holdings announced that 39 of its manufacturing facilities achieved the Structural Building Components Association’s (SBCA’s) Structural Component Operations Reaching for Excellence certification at the Elite level.

Established in 2006, SCORE is the primary U.S. certification program for truss manufacturing in the areas of quality, safety, process standardization and education.

ProBuild facilities that have achieved SCORE Elite certification include: Anchorage, Alaska;  Pooler, Ga.; Clackamas, Ore.; Big Lake, Ark.; Hawarden, Iowa;  Klamath Falls, Ore.; Chigiak, Ark.; New Hampton, Iowa; Morrisville, Pa.; Kenai, Ark.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Mitchell, S.D.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Dry Ridge, Ky.; Buda, Texas; National City, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carrollton, Texas; Visalia, Calif.; Wadena, Minn.; Mercedes, Texas.; Dolores, Colo.; Valley Center, Mo.; West Point, Va.; Longmont, Colo.; Albermarle, N.C.; Auburn, Wash.; Lady Lake, Fla.; Berlin, N.J.; Spokane, Wash.; Milton, Fla.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Walla Walla, Wash.; Plant City, Fla.;  Kingston, N.Y.; West Richland, Wash.; Norcross, Ga.; Delaware, Ohio; and De Pere, Wis.

ProBuild joins an elite group of truss manufacturing facilities in the United States that are ?SCORE certified. Only 46 facilities are currently SCORE certified across the United State out of the more than 1,500 facilities operating today, according to the SBCA.

“After careful consideration of various options, we determined the SCORE Elite Program provided ProBuild with the most comprehensive standardization program to augment industry best practices across our component manufacturing platform,” said Lonnie Bernardoni, SVP manufacturing for ProBuild Holdings. “Enough can’t be said about our component manufacturing employees who have embraced the process and have adapted to a new way of operating that ultimately raises our business to a new level of manufacturing excellence.”

Acomprehensive program, three primary elements of the SCORE Elite certification require being In-Plant WTCA quality control certified, operation safety certified and having a minimum of 80% of technicians certified in truss technician training at various levels. To help customers, SCORE-certified locations send out job site packages with each delivery to share industry-recommended practices for safe truss installation.

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Builders FirstSource faces shareholder opposition

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Opposition is mounting to the proposed plans to recapitalize Builders FirstSource (BLDR) through a debt swap that could raise cash but dilute the holdings of minority shareholders.

Stadium Capital Management, which owns 14.9% of BLDR common stock, has called the proposal “blatantly unfair to minority stockholders” in a letter submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The two BLDR investors who came up with the idea, JLL Partners and Warburg Pincus, are “abusing their position as control stockholders,” who together own almost 50% of the LBM chain.

“While undoubtedly Builders FirstSource (like most other companies) could find potentially productive uses for additional capital, nothing about Builders FirstSource’s current circumstances warrants a recapitalization on [the proposal’s] desperate terms,” the letter states, adding that the plan will be “extraordinarily beneficial to Warburg and JLL.”

The recapitalization plan, as described in initial filing with the SEC on Sept. 1, includes a $75 million offering to existing stockholders at $2 per share; a $98 million debt exchange, also at $2 a share; plus remaining notes — roughly $275 million — swapped for new notes, equity or both. 

Stadium objects to the low $2.00 share price, a dilution of its common stock, a $4.5 million “backstopping” fee that could be paid to Warburg and JLL, and alleged conflicts of interest between the BLDR board members and other terms of the recapitalization plan. Stadium has threatened to pursue “legal remedies” if the company moves forward with its plan.

Robotti & Co. which owns or controls 7.5% of BLDR’s outstanding stock, has already filed a lawsuit in Wilmington, Del., against Warburg and JLL. The complaint accuses the two private equity firms of trying to increase their equity stake in BLDR while diluting the non-controlling stockholders. The complaint references statements made by the company’s CEO, Floyd Sherman, during the second-quarter conference call on July 23, 2009. Floyd told analysts that BLDR had “adequate liquidity” and more than $112 million cash on hand.

Asecurities litigation firm named Levi & Korsinsky has also initiated a class action lawsuit against BLDR in connection to the drop in the company’s share price following the announcement of the recapitalization plan.

The Dallas-based pro dealer occupied the ninth spot on the Home Channel News Top 350 Scoreboard this year, with $1.03 billion in sales for 2008, a 32.4% drop from the previous year.

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