McCray Lumber Co. is expanding from its Kansas City area base by purchasing Whelan's Lumber, a century-old dealership with a contractor yard and door plant in Topeka, Kan., and another contractor yard in Lawrence, Kan.
The deal, signed in March, brings Overland Park, Kan.-based McCray to 13 facilities. It already had had a truss factory in Topeka but otherwise wasn't in that region.
"It's a win-win for both companies," Whelan's president Ward Whelan told the Topeka Capital-Journal. He said he would continue to manage Whelan's in Topeka and Lawrence. McCray intends to operate the stores with the Whelan's name. "It will be the same name, same people, stronger organization," Whelan said.
McCray ranked 55th on the just-issued 2008 ProSales 100, with sales of $97 million in 2007, down 31.2% from the $141 million posted in 2006. It had 245 employees as of the start of this year. Aside from seven lumberyards, it has two millwork facilities and the Topeka truss plant.
Whelan told the Topeka newspaper he was diagnosed in 2003 with kidney and lung cancer. With treatment, he overcame lung cancer and kidney cancer, but the kidney cancer recently turned. "I'm feeling great, but it's there," Whelan said. "What happens if I get sick? I'm looking after our employees and our customers. I want the company to go on and continually serve others."