New partnership enters foreclosure market
Waypoint Real Estate Group, one of the nation’s leading acquirers of distressed, single-family properties, and GI Partners, a mid-market private equity firm, have announced a partnership where they will acquire and then rent out more than $250 million in single-family homes. Ultimately, GI hopes to invest more than $1 billion in distressed and foreclosed homes over the next two years, with Waypoint managing the acquisitions and rental conversions.
Based in Oakland, Waypoint has successfully acquired nearly 1,000 homes in the San Francisco Bay area and Inland Empire in Southern California, and developed a proprietary system to underwrite and manage the portfolio of homes. With the GI investment, Waypoint plans to launch a national expansion, with the goal of entering into multiple new geographic markets in 2012.
"Our approach to buying and renovating distressed homes and leasing to residents who are committed to a path to future home ownership is a viable solution to our nation’s housing crisis," said Colin Wiel, managing director and co-founder of Waypoint. "Our unique approach to acquiring homes and converting them into rental properties speaks directly to the Federal Reserve’s recommendations included within its recent white paper. This partnership with GI Partners ensures we can take the next step in our company’s evolution."
GI Partners, headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., will invest in Waypoint through GI Partners Fund III, which has approximately $1.9 billion of capital commitments from institutional private equity and real estate investors.
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Cedar Creek expands in Birmingham
Oklahoma City-based Cedar Creek plans to open a new location in Birmingham, Ala. The company said the site is ready, and employees are being hired in anticipation of a Feb. 1 opening.
“We are pleased to further expand our presence in Alabama and the Southeast, in general, as we believe these areas will be on the leading edge of the residential building recovery," said Bill Adams, CEO of Cedar Creek.
Cedar Creek is a leading wholesale building material distribution company with 12 locations covering 19 states in the Mid-South, Midwest and Southeast. In May 2010, Cedar Creek was recapitalized by Boston-based Charlesbank Capital Partners, with the goal of providing flexible capital for the company to grow beyond its current trade areas.
“This is a key location for Cedar Creek as it helps link our other southeastern locations in Tennessee and North Carolina," said D. Wayne Trousdale, Cedar Creek’s VP operations.
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Columbia Forest Products acquires cabinet company
CFP Components, a division of Columbia Forest Products, has acquired Cabinotch, a maker of ready-to-assemble face-framed cabinet boxes that feature Columbia’s formaldehyde-free PureBond hardwood plywood.
The Cabinotch system, which involves a patent-pending interlocking side panel-to-face frame joint, has been shown to help cabinet shops reduce costs and improve productivity, according to the company.
According to Mike Lee, director of CFP Components, Cabinotch is a modern extension of Columbia’s cut-to-size operation. “Ever since we first trimmed down a piece of plywood for somebody, we’ve been asked to provide more and more value-added services to make life in the shop easier for our customers,” Lee said. “Through the years, we have developed pre-finishing, edgebanding, drawer side blanks and paper laminating capabilities in response to market demand.
“Now, through the Cabinotch offering, we can deliver a set of custom-sized American (made) hardwood parts — from the face frame through the sides, backs, bottoms, tops and shelves — that the fabricator can finish and assemble along with their doors and drawers. It supports the market shift toward outsourcing, and delivers production efficiencies that shop owners are quick to appreciate.”
Through a Web portal (cabinotch.com), customers can register, then specify, face frame and interior face species, adjust sizes and order their cabinet box parts, which are then shipped directly to their shop. Videos on the website illustrate how to assemble the box through the notch in the back of the face frames, and the strength and alignment of the box when assembled.
“You can order your box parts from Cabinotch,” Lee said, “and start working on your doors, drawers, range hoods and trim. When the Cabinotch parts arrive, you just finish them and put everything together.”
Columbia intends to expand awareness of the Cabinotch cabinet box system through promotion by its network of independent wholesale distributors. Customers will continue to order their products online and receive them directly from the plant.
According to Lee, “We feel that Columbia distributors can offer a lot in the way of training shops how to maximize the value of the Cabinotch system, and are looking forward to rolling our program out to more cabinet shops in 2012.”