Are M&A dealmakers getting cold feet these fall days, or are they just taking a pause in advance of a year-end rush?
There were only 13 construction supply dealer openings, closures, and acquisitions between Sept. 21 and Oct. 21, Webb Analytics' database shows. These recent weeks mark the first time all year in which 2019's pace of activity failed to keep up with 2018's. As of Oct. 21, we now have 290 pins on the deals map. On the same date last year, we had 333. One big difference: 2018 includes the Sept. 26, 2018, deal in which startup American Construction Source bought 44 Meek's Lumber facilities. Take that megadeal out of 2018's total and this year's numbers look much better in comparison.
Through Oct. 21, we have had 171 LBM locations involved in acquisitions, 89 greenfield openings, and 30 facilities that were closed. Of those 171, roughly 65 were lumberyards, truss operations, millwork shops and window-door facilities while 65 more were specialty dealers--roofing suppliers, mainly. Another 25 companies specialized in landscaping and irrigation.
SRS Distribution is by far the most active player. It leads all other companies in number of facilities acquired (61), number of deals (nine), and number of greenfield locations opened (23).
Here's what has gone into the Webb Analytics database since Sept. 21:
* SRS Distribution bought Roofers Supply, a six-unit operation based in Utah.
* US LBM bought Forge Lumber, based in Erlanger, KY, with a satellite yard in Cincinnati.
* Gypsum specialist Foundation Building Materials bought Joe's Wallboard Supply of Colorado Springs, CO, and The Supply Guy of Lakewood, WA.
* Kodiak Building Partners acquired Jenkins Lumber & Hardware of Alpine, WY.
* 84 Lumber said it plans to close a facility in Richmond, VA, and move its operations to a much bigger plant that formerly was a Cedar Creek distribution center.
* A new store, Local Lumber and Supply, launched in Williamson, WV.
* L&W Supply, a unit of ABC Supply, opened a greenfield branch in Glendale, AZ.
* National Lumber said it plans to open a facility in Kingston, MA, by year-end. In addition, Zuern Building Products announced it will set up shop in Slinger, WI, early next year.
* And here's one update: In June, Higginbotham Bros. purchased Cade's Building Supplies in Mineola, TX. On Sept. 27, Higginbotham celebrated the grand re-opening of that store.
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