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Platinum Equity buys PrimeSource

BY HBSDealer Staff

PrimeSource is under new ownership. Platinum Equity completed the acquisition of the Irving, Texas-based distributor from Itochu Corporation.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PrimeSource, headquartered in Irving, Texas, is the largest distributor of construction fasteners and one of the largest distributors of non-lumber building products in North America. Platinum Equity is a global private equity firm currently investing from a $3.75 billion buyout fund described as "focused on acquiring businesses that can benefit from the firm’s operational expertise."

“PrimeSource is one of the leaders in the industry with an impressive global network, strong customer relationships and well-recognized brands,” said Platinum Equity partner Jacob Kotzubei. “We believe the company is well positioned for growth, both organically and through prospective add-on acquisitions.”

Platinum Equity’s operations and M&A teams are working closely with PrimeSource co-CEOs David Fishbein and Bob Furio on long-term strategic plans.

The PrimeSource transaction represents the third acquisition Platinum Equity has completed in the last three months. The firm acquired Enbi, a manufacturer of print rollers and specialty components, in March from Dutch multinational Royal Tencate and acquired Chinese manufacturer Ying Shing Enterprises in April. A fourth transaction, the proposed acquisition of Worldwide Flight Services, was announced in April and is expected to close by the end of June.

“This is a terrific opportunity for PrimeSource and all of our stakeholders,” said Furio. “Working with Platinum Equity will make us even stronger and allow us to take the next step in the evolution of our business.”

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Mansfield Plumbing points to rectangular bathtub trend

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to Perrysville, Ohio-based Mansfield Plumbing, rectangular bathtubs are the latest trend in bathroom fittings.

Other findings from the team: corner models are out of vogue, and chromatherapy is enjoying a moment.

"The rectangular-shaped bathtub is currently our highest-selling shape, followed by ovals," says Haley Davis, product manager with Mansfield Plumbing. "And, at the end of a long day, apparently most people enjoy a stimulating whirlpool tub to ease away tensions, since those are our highest-selling bathware products.

"The most popular tub feature in 2014 was the quiet, induction motor pump with variable speed control that ranges from 1 to 10 or can be set on oscillating," she added. "The keypad displays the water temperature, minutes remaining in the 20 minute cycle and the speed of the pump. This feature jumped ahead of the most popular option in 2013, which was the inline water heater that maintains a consistent water temperature no matter how long you soak."

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Eco Building Products officially announces plan to become CSO supplier

BY HBSDealer Staff

Eco Building Products is embarking on a new phase of its life: the protected lumber company's next move involves becoming a Coating Service Only (CSO) supplier to the entire building industry.

"We recognize that we want to operate in the higher-margin chemistry and coatings arena where there is a value-added premium for our warranty against mold – which we offer under GreenGuard Gold certification," said Steve Conboy, president and CEO of Eco Building Products, Inc. "We are now transitioning to this higher margin 'sweet spot' for our company. And the good news is that our order bank is growing in virtually every Eco facility, putting us in the enviable position of being able to select the customers who truly value our premium addition to their business proposition."

Eco Building Products explained that its status as a lumber buyer had a negative impact on the margins it could make on coatings.

The company is currently setting up additional equipment to increase its capacity for coatings.

"Our lumber is the only framing lumber that comes with 10-Year Warranty against destructive issues, like mold. Eco brings a strong differentiator, and that 'peace of mind' that raw lumber, used by most of the industry today to frame buildings, does not have for interior use that is safe to handle and live with," Conboy added.

"As a company, we see our Eco Red Shield and Eco Armor protection worth more than traditional raw lumber or pressure-treated lumber on any one's shelf or yard, because we actually protect buildings and the inhabitants against both mold and formaldehyde emissions resultant from unprotected, raw lumber," Conboy stated. "These products are what the industry has been waiting for, because the need to add some type of protection to raw lumber is no longer an open debate as wet lumber will not protect the air quality in our homes.  Eco Red Shield does and will provide that critical line of defense."

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