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LBM's M&A Deals Pace Hasn't Slowed, But the Volume Has. And Greenfield Openings Are Up

LBM facilities acquired (blue pins), opened (green), or closed (red) YTD 2022. Source: Webb Analytics

If LBM's Mergers and Acquisitions market were a baseball game, you could say this season is featuring a lot of singles and doubles compared with last year's home runs and grand slams. Through June 23, Webb Analytics has recorded 53 deals by 31 buyers that involved 140 locations of construction supply facilities nationwide. Compared with last year, that's about 10% less than the number of deals (59) by this point in 2021, and slightly fewer buyers (34). But this year's average acquisition involved 2.6 facilities while the average last year to date was 4.9. This year, the biggest single buys were when Gulfeagle Supply bought R&S Supply's 24 yards and Builders FirstSource acquired 19 locations from National Lumber. In contrast, by this time last year we had seen US LBM taking on 79 locations from American Construction Source and another 43 locations from Higginbotham Bros. The first 6 months in 2021 also saw R.P. Lumber absorbing the 24-branch Stock+Field chain, and SRS Distribution making four deals that brought it five, 11, 12, and eight branches, respectively. Greenfield openings have been more active this year than last, with 84 already accomplished vs. 63 by this point in 2021. In addition, at least 10 other facilities are set to open by Dec. 31 of this year. On the other hand, we already know of 15 closures this year, compared with just eight by this point last year. Among recent acquisitions:

* Southeast Building Supply Interests (a division of Building Industry Partners), bought Wallace Building Supply of Tennessee, its first operation in the Volunteer State.

* Kodiak Building Partners made its first acquisition of 2022, taking in Miller Lumber of Redmond and Bend, OR. * Nation's Best Holdings acquired the four Sparr Building & Farm Supply units in Central Florida as well as California's Calaveras Lumber and Sonora Lumber.

* Blue Ridge Lumber bought the two-branch, Pennsylvania-based Cramer's Home Building Centers.

* Beacon Building Products acquired Wichita Falls (TX) Builders Wholesale.

* Waters Hardware bought seven Nuts and Bolts hardware branches in Missouri and Kansas.

* W.E. Aubuchon acquired Cornell's Hardware of Eastchester, NY.

* Gulfeagle Supply bought Long Island-based BrightView Distribution.

* Fast-growing Ambassador Supply bought Astro Buildings.

* Outdoor Living Supply, one of the biggest acquirers in the past 18 months, took over The Rock Garden in Truckee, CA.

The list of greenfield openings in recent weeks includes ABC Supply in Tiffin, GA, and Missourla, MT; ABC Supply's L&W Supply subsidiary in Plymouth, MN; and R.P. Lumber in Mount Vernon, MO. Gillman Home Center was slated to open in Shelbyville, IN, on June 23.

In addition two truss plants opened recently: A-1 Industries in Bainbridge, GA; and US LBM's Brand Vaughan Lumber in Lithonia, GA.

The flooring sector has been busy, with new LL Flooring branches opening this quarter in Winchester, VA; Mooresville, NC; Mount Holly, NJ; Eau Claire, WI; Battle Creek, MI; and Cumming, GA. Meanwhile, Floor & Decor opened in Warrensville Heights, OH, Parkville, MD; and Wilmington, NC.

The drywall sector also has been active. GMS announced June 1 it has opened new branches of its Ames Taping Tool subsidiary in Santa Fe Springs, CA; Pensacola, FL; North Charleston, SC; Durham, NC; and Ocala, FL. It also opened new branches of Gator Gypsum in Wildwood, FL; New England Gypsum in Woburn, MA; Ohio Valley Drywall in Cleveland; and Tucker Materials in West Union, SC.

Two hardware stores closed: John Meier & Sons in Export, PA; and Neeb's Hardware in Gretna, LA.

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