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ProBuild acquires truss manufacturers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

ProBuild Holdings, continuing to ride a wave of recent acquisitions, has purchased the assets of Northeast Panel & Truss and Collins Truss Systems, manufacturers of roof and floor trusses and wall panels.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kingston, N.Y.-based Northeast Panel & Truss is a full service manufacturer of truss and wall panels. Founded in 2000, the company has built a distribution network into the Hudson Valley, a market ProBuild currently serves from 10 locations.  

“This acquisition allows ProBuild to extend our truss capabilities to national and regional builders in our Hudson Valley markets,” explained Buddy Ables, president of ProBuild’s East region.

“Our people are looking forward to becoming an important extension of the Hudson Valley ProBuild team, an organization that will provide our employees with long-term growth opportunities,” added Ed Collins, owner of Northeast Panel & Truss and Collins Truss Systems.

ProBuild Holdings currently operates more than 560 lumber and building product distribution, manufacturing and assembly centers in 41 states.

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Ace names CFO

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware Corp. has named Dorvin Lively, 49, as chief financial officer effective March 20.

Lively has had “extensive financial and accounting experience,” the company said in a statement, including his most recent post as executive vp and CFO for Maidenform Inc.

From 2000 to 2004, Lively served as senior vp and corporate controller for Toys R Us Inc. He has also held financial positions at Reader’s Digest, Silverado Foods, Pepsi Cola, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Arthur Anderson.

“We look forward to the knowledge, experience and vision that he will bring to Ace in both the short- and long-term,” said Ray Griffith CEO of Ace Hardware.

Ace announced its search for a new CFO following the departure of Ron Knutson, former vp – finance for Ace, who resigned in December.

Most recently, Ace Hardware restated previously issued income and equity for fiscal years 2006, 2005 and 2004. The restatement was primarily the result of the discovery of a $152 million shortfall due to an inventory accounting error, which the company announced in September 2007.

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Armstrong Garden Centers buys Pike Nurseries locations

BY HBSDEALER Staff

An Atlanta bankruptcy court has ruled that Armstrong Garden Centers, the 34-unit chain of California nurseries, can purchase 15 locations of Pike Family Nurseries for $5.2 million. The March 2 decision, handed down in the Northern District of Georgia court, came after an auction where several bidders walked away with pieces of the 50-year-old company.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Pike Nurseries was the largest family owned garden center chain in the country. At one time, the company had 25 locations and annual revenues of $100 million. In 2004, second-generation owner Randy Pike sold a majority stake in the company to Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm, but stayed on as president and CEO.

Pike Nurseries, which also ran a wholesale growing operation, filed for bankruptcy last November, citing drought conditions as a contributing factor.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., Armstrong Garden Centers is the largest chain of independent nurseries, with two locations in Northern California and the remainder in the southern portion of the state. Company CEO Mike Kunce was in Atlanta and unavailable for comment, according to an Armstrong spokesperson.

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