Volume 46, Issue 1 - January/February 2007

Mergers and Acquisitions
CraftMaster to Open Third Manufacturing Facility

CraftMaster Manufacturing Inc. (CMI), a Chicago, Ill.- based manufacturer and marketer of interior doors, recently purchased a 277,740-square-foot distribution facility in Garland, Texas. The company says it will convert the building into its third door manufacturing facility and will manufacture its line of interior doors in this location. CraftMaster anticipates installing production machinery early this year and plans to be fully operational in the second quarter.

“The Garland facility is a strategic expansion for CMI that allows us to meet the immediate customer demands in the southern and western United States, while also positioning us to achieve long-term growth plans for CraftMaster raised-panel interior doors,” said Bob Merrill, CMI president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Builders FirstSource Moves Into Alabama by Acquisition
Builders FirstSource Inc., a supplier and manufacturer of structural and related building products headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has acquired Waid Home Center Inc., a full-line building materials supplier based in Auburn, Ala. Among Waid’s product offerings are: lumber, tools, windows, roofing, mouldings, paint, sheetrock and insulation. The acquired company produced approximately $25 million in sales in 2005.

“The Waid acquisition expands our presence into Alabama. We are extremely bullish on this area due to the job growth we expect from the nearby Kia automotive plant that is under construction. We also believe this creates an opportunity to sell prefabricated products into the market,” explained Floyd Sherman, Builders FirstSource chief executive officer (CEO).

Former Waid Home Center owner Joey Waid will serve as a consultant to Builders FirstSource.

Company News
Andersen Corp. Announces Layoffs
Due to an economic downturn in the housing industry, evidenced by lower housing starts and a cooling demand for residential building products, some businesses are making cutbacks of various sorts, unfortunately including the area of personnel. While the indication is that the record-breaking market is simply returning to “normal,” many companies now find themselves staffed to higher levels than product demand can support and most are attempting to adjust in other ways with mixed success.

As evidenced by recent cut-backs by door and window giant Andersen Corp., larger companies are equally susceptible to market fluctuations. At press time, the company was expected to layoff 440 employees in January 2007—400 at its Bayport, Minn., location and 40 at its Menomonie, Wis., assembly facility.

“As many of you know, after a long period of expansion, there has been a dramatic downturn in all segments of the housing market across the country,” said Maureen McDonough, Andersen’s director of corporate communications. “Because our business is so closely aligned with housing, that downturn, especially in the new construction segment, has created less volume opportunity for Andersen,” she added.

Like many, its workforce was aligned with the demands of the housing market, but now the company finds itself over staffed as McDonough explained, “Because we don’t expect a quick rebound, it’s clear that we have more capacity than we need to meet demand. Unfortunately, we’ve reached the point where we need to reduce the size of our workforce to align with the forecast.”

For information on additional industry layoffs, visit the industry news section of www.sheltermagazine.com

Contact Has a New Name
Clackamas, Ore., based- Contact Lumber has announced that as of January 1, 2007, its name has been changed to Contact Industries to reflect its transition from a traditional millwork manufacturing organization to a manufacturer of customized products, a number of which no longer utilize lumber.

The company’s president, Frank Pearson said, “Our organizational focus, investment, and products have changed so much over the years that the name ‘Contact Lumber’ no longer truly reflects who we are and what we produce as a company.” 

Contact says it has increased its commitment to manufacturing a wider array of customized and unique secondary wood and non-wood products in response to regular customer feedback and with the financial support of new ownership.

“Earlier this year, in response to a customer request, our manufacturing facility profile wrapped a very high-end stainable vinyl film with traditional wood print character over an all aluminum core. That represented the first time in our company’s history that our organization produced an entirely non-wood component and it signaled a significant change in how we view ourselves,” said Peter McKibbin, vice president of sales. 

It will also envelop its manufacturing facility under the new name.

Photo credit was inadvertently omitted for pictures published in the AMD Convention Review in the November/December 2006 issue of Shelter. Photography for AMD was taken by Jowdy Photography. 

Universal Acquires Banks Lumber
Universal Forest Products Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., recently announced that wholly owned subsidiaries of the company have agreed to acquire certain assets of the Banks Lumber division of Banks Corp. Banks manufactures roof trusses and cut-to-size structural lumber for manufactured housing and recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturers nationwide and had sales of approximately $147 million in 2005. Universal manufactures and engineers wood and wood-alternative products for retail home centers, structural lumber products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for the site-built construction market and specialty wood packaging for various industries. 

The company reported a purchase price of approximately $47 million including certain real estate, equipment and inventory, as well as intangible assets. The purchase was approved by Universal’s board of directors November 15 and closed Friday, November 17, 2006.

Universal says this acquisition moves the company toward its goal of growing to $4 billion in sales by 2010 as part of its growth plan announced last October, and enhances its position in the truss market.

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