Union official of building/construction AFL/CIO dies suddenly
Mark Ayers, the 63-year-old president of the building and construction trades department of the AFL/CIO, died unexpectedly on April 8, according to an announcement issued by the organization. No details were released on the cause or circumstances of his death. Ayers served as president since 2007.
Ayers was the first union executive other than a general president to be appointed to the building trades’ top job. He had previously served as director of construction and maintenance for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) based in Peoria, Ill.
The building and construction trades department will hold its national legislative conference on April 30 in Washington, D.C. President Obama is scheduled to address an estimated 3,000 attendees.
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Fluctuation seen in improving markets list
An index by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) designed to track improving housing markets across the country has shifted again, with 13 metros being added and 11 markets slipping from the list, for a net gain of two markets in April. The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) now includes 101 metropolitan areas. Thirty-five states (including the District of Columbia) are represented by at least one market on the list.
The IMI index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Among the new entrants are Rome, Ga.; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Greenville, N.C.; Brownsville, Texas; St. George, Utah; and Huntington, W.Va.
"After five consecutive months of gains, the IMI recently began to plateau, with many markets holding steady and a few experiencing the ups and downs that are typical in a choppy recovery," observed NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "The IMI is designed to highlight markets that are showing consistent improvement, and those markets that have registered the smallest gains are more susceptible to dropping off the list due to a minor setback in prices, permits or employment," he explained. At the same time, "as stronger markets approach stability, it will get harder for them to keep charting improvement, which will also limit the expansion of the IMI," Crowe added.
The market rates may have
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Beacon Roofing Supply refinances
Beacon Roofing has entered into $565 million of new five-year credit agreements consisting of a $550 million U.S. credit facility and a C$15 million Canadian credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association as administrative agent and as a lender. Other lenders also participated.
The new agreements refinance the company’s prior combined $515 million credit facilities that were provided through GE Antares and an affiliate. According to Beacon, the new facility provides the wholesaler with historically low interest rates and readily available funds for future acquisitions and ongoing working capital requirements.
In a prepared statement, David Grace, Beacon’s executive VP and CFO, said: "We are very pleased to enter into this new arrangement with Wells Fargo, who understands our business and our unique position in the industry. The new credit facility provides attractive LIBOR margin pricing, reasonable financial covenants, and substantial liquidity and financial flexibility to aggressively pursue acquisitions and grow our company. The timing for us to refinance was ideal because interest rates are at historical low levels. There also was a very high level of interest from lenders because of our successful history of growth and profitability. This credit facility is a significant milestone in Beacon’s history."
Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Beacon Roofing Supply is a leading distributor of roofing materials and other exterior building products, operating 193 branches in 38 states in the United States and across Canada.
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