Tony Shepley, the founder and president of Shepley Wood Products, says he routinely gets asked “What are you doing here?”
Having sold the Hyannis, Mass.-based LBM business serving the Cape region to Kodiak Building Partners in December 2021, some think Shepley would have exited by now. But that’s not the case.
“I’m working,” is Shepley’s usual response to the question.
During a recent live webinar hosted by BuildXact, top executives from two of the nation’s leading prodealers weighed in on the mergers and acquisitions process. Executives from US LBM and Kodiak discussed the process of getting acquainted with potential acquisition targets and life after the deal.
The dialogue dove into how agreements are originally conceived, carried out, and the impact on a dealer once they’ve been acquired by a larger LBM business.
Participants included Jim Hooper, senior vice president for mergers and acquisitions at US LBM; Jerry Jehn, senior vice president, Kodiak Building Partners; Tony Shepley, president, Shepley Wood Products; Jeff Smith, CFO of Kodiak; and Jon Vaughan, president of Brand Vaughan Lumber Co. and now the US LBM vice president of operations for the Southeast Region.
The discussion was moderated by Michael Collins, managing principal, EquiNova Capital Partners.
Jehn’s company, Builders Millwork, was acquired by Kodiak in 2018. The move was Kodiak’s 16th of 35 acquisitions since being founded 11 years ago. Since Jehn has serves as senior vice president of door and millwork for Kodiak.
Collins asked Smith how Kodiak first came into contact with Jehn and Shepley, eventually leading to the acquisitions of both companies.
According to Smith, Jehn had been looking at properties in Colorado in 2016. A meeting was eventually held between Jehn and Kodiak leadership.
“We talked about his approach to business and what his plans were for the long-term,” Smith said. From a personality perspective, Smith said the parties also talked about how they might work together culturally.
When it came time to break the news of a sale, no two answers were the same.
“It’s 80% emotional and 20% financial,” Shepley said.