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R.P.'s Latest Growth Continues Surge in M&A Dealmaking

Construction supply dealer locations involved in acquisitions (blue dots), greenfield openings (green), or closures (red) through Nov. 19, 2021. Not shown: Activity in Hawaii, Alberta, and Manitoba. Source: Webb Analytics

R.P. Lumber announced today it was acquiring Alexander Lumber, a deal that continues November's frantic pace of LBM-related M&A activity and suggests we're going to see an even busier December.

The R.P.-Alexander purchase involves more than a dozen locations centers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It comes in a month that saw several companies muscle past US LBM, SRS, and other major dealmakers for top billing (even if those companies also announced deals). For instance, nobody was bigger in November than GMS, the drywall specialist that acquired Ames Taping Tools and its 94 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition, Beacon Building Products made its first purchase since 2018, acquiring exterior specialist Midway Wholesale, which has 10 branches in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Beacon also opened greenfield stores in Houston, TX, and North Port, FL.

Through today, there have been 108 transactions involving 519 locations. That's well ahead of the 59 deals and 193 locations completed by this same point in 2021. But the final weeks of last year saw another 288 outlets change hands in just 13 transactions. And those numbers don't count the roughly 162 BMC branches that merged into Builders FirstSource.

Several sources have indicated there will be even more deals coming in December, as companies rush to get ahead of potential changes in capital gains taxes as well as potential increases in lending rates.

Here's what else has happened recently:

* Detroit area-based Mans Lumber bought Dillman & Upton, further strengthening the company in the suburbs just north of the Motor City.

* L&W Supply, the drywall specialty division of ABC Supply, purchased G. Proulx Building Supply of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and opened a branch in New Castle, DE.

* Ware-Butler Lumber, the unit of Pleasant River Lumber, continued its rapid growth in Maine, buying Crescent Lumber, which has stores in Orrington, Stillwater, Corinth, and Palmyra in the Pine State.

* SRS' Heritage Landscape Supply Group acquired the three-unit North Florida Irrigation Equipment, bought the two-unit, Texas-based Irrigation Supply Inc., and moved into Northwest Arkansas via a greenfield store in Springdale. It also acquired Wirtz and Daughters, a landscaping company with facilities in Joppa and White Marsh, MD.

* US LBM bought Arrowhead Stairs and Trim, a huge millwork operation serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It also acquired BuilderUp, a lumberyard and truss manufacturer with operations in Waldorf and Owings, MD

* Universal Supply, a unit of US LBM, grew its store count in Delaware again by opening a greenfield store in Millsboro.

* Talbert Building Supply of Roxboro, NC, bought Poindexter Lumber of Clemmons, NC, a town near Winston-Salem.

* Genesee Lumber acquired Smith Lumber & Hardware of Lakeville, NY.

* Mill Creek Lumber & Supply bought Fox Building Supply, which has branches in Oklahoma City and in Altus, OK.

* Kodiak Building Partners added another Pacific Northwest dealer, this time going to the Olympic Peninsula to acquire Carl's Building Supply of Port Hadlock, WA.

* Nation's Best Holdings moved into the Chicago area by acquiring the three-branch Crafty Beaver Home Centers. Nation's Best also took over Gilmer (TX) Lumber and Howe, OK-based Ron's Lumber & Home Center.

* Jim Carroll, the longtime manager of Brownsboro Hardware, bought the company's two stores in Louisville and Prospect, KY, from the store's founders.

* New South Construction Supply made its first move into Florida--and potentially the Caribbean--with its acquisition of Jacksonville-based Increte of North Florida.

* Pleasants Hardware, a Richmond, VA-area, subsidiary of Norfolk-based Taylor's Do it Center, opened a new store in Quinton, VA. Taylor's plans to open another store of its own in Gloucester, VA, before year-end.

* Gillman's Home Center plans to open a store in Hartford City, IN, by early December.

* St. Charles Hardware opened in St. Charles, IL, while Medley's Carlisle Hardware opened in Sullivan, IN.

* Floor & Decor has opened six new stores since mid-September, pushing it well above the 150 mark. The branches are in Bohemia, NY; Naples, FL; Waltham, MA; Oxnard, CA; Dorchester, MA; and Tacoma, WA.

* Glendale, CA-based Virgi's Hardware Home Center closed.

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