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The West Moves to the Forefront in June-July's Deals Roundup

Facilities involved in deals (blue pins), greenfield openings (green), and closures (red) since Jan. 1.

After months in which New England and the mid-Atlantic dominated the stage, several of the latest deals, openings, and closures involve operations in the West.

The most recent example occurred July 7, when American Construction Source (ACS) announced it had acquired Weaver Lumber, a one-unit operation in Redding, CA. ACS has become a powerhouse in Northern California, having purchased the local Meek's yards as well as facilities that once were part of Homewood Holdings.

One of the most surprising moves involved R.P. Lumber, the 27th biggest company on the ProSales 100, with $281 million in sales last year. Until now, all 71 of its branches were in Illinois and Missouri. But on June 26 came news that R.P. had purchased Build-Rite Lumber of Rawlins and Saratoga, WY.

Both of these deals followed May's revelation that Kodiak Building Partners acquired Mandere Construction and Northwest Building Components, both based on a 12-acre site in Rathdrum, ID. Northwest produces wall panels and floor and roof trusses, while Mandere provides framing and installation services. Company founder John Mandere will continue as president, Kodiak said in a news release. The two companies will become part of Kodiak's General Lumber division and mark the dealer's 25th acquisition.

Multiple changes are under way at Gordon Lumber as a result of its decision to focus on services such as components manufacturing and installed sales. Gordon closed its locations in Huron and Fremont, OH, after having sent its inventory to its Port Clinton, OH, store. That location will serve as a liquidation center prior to its scheduled closure on Oct. 31. That will leave its store in Genoa, OH, which will remain open, and the corporate offices in Fremont, which will move to Genoa before Dec. 31.

So far this year, there have been 98 locations involved in deals, 21 greenfield facilities opened, and 21 locations that closed. Those 140 transactions compare with 185 that took place in January through July 9 of last year. More than three dozen of this year's locations were part of one deal--Lansing Building Products' acquisition of Harvey Building Products. Lansing's acquisition of Massachusetts-based Harvey contributed to New England being the regional leader in deals, with 44 locations in the six-state area involved in deals, opening and closures.

Among other activities:

* Zuern Building Products acquired Window Design Center, which has branches in Madison and Delafield, WI.

* Higginbotham Brothers announced plans to open a facility in Liberty Hill, TX.

* Saying it wants to increase its service to Gulf Coast towns ravaged by hurricanes last year, GMS opened a Capitol Materials branch in Panama City, FL,

* Sparr Building & Farm Supply plans by Sept. 30 to open a location in Dunnellon, FL, that previously was occupied by Nichols Supply. Nichols closed in late April.

* Bear Paw Lumber in Havre, MT, closed.

* Builders FirstSource in March closed Spenard Builders Supply yards in Eagle River and Seward, AK.

These lumberyards are using auction pages to sell themselves:

* Sentry Lumber & Hardware in Greenville, GA, is for sale. For an asking price of $1.325 million, you get an operation with gross revenue of $1.067 million and FF&E worth $250,000. Neither the inventory nor the real estate are included.

* An unnamed lumberyard in Wilmington, NY, that claims $5.4 million in gross revenue and $456,481 in cash flow is on sale for $1.8 million. That price includes about 10 acres of real estate and $500,000 in equipment, but not $650,000 worth of inventory.

* Go to Pierz, MN, and $999,000 will buy you Loidolt Lumber. Revenues, cash flow and EBITDA weren't disclosed. Neither real estate nor equipment are part of the asking price.

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