Continuing a pattern that has seen the meek inherit the mighty, another regional player has surfaced to take over some facilities recently closed by Stock Building Supply.

Lavalley Lumber Co. of Sanford, Maine, announced today it has purchased three former Stock locations: lumberyards in Lakeville and Norwood, Mass., and a kitchen design facility in Norwood. At its peak about three years ago, the three locations did as much as $50 million a year in sales. Stock, America's No. 2 LBM operation, had closed the facilities this summer as part of a reorganization that saw it spend two months under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and emerge with a focus on 19 markets, none of them northeast of Pennsylvania.

In an interview with ProSales, Lavalley CEO Don Collins said that, despite some stern negotiations with Stock, the acquisition was a "natural fit" that could not be passed up.

"It was the quality of the people, the quality of the customer base," Collins said. Without giving specific numbers, Collins said the acquisition, which closed on Aug. 7, should double Lavalley's overall sales. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The three new facilities will operate under the New England Building Materials banner, as already is the case for a Lavalley-owned location in Hampton, N.H. Lavalley also has three yards and a white pine mile in southern Maine operating as Lavalley Lumber, and three Poole Brothers locations on the coast of Maine. With the additions, it employs 213 workers.

Today's deal is just the latest in a string of moves that has seen independents gobble up portions of Stock after it emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization. Others have take over former Stock facilities in New York, Connecticut, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Montana. (See summary of past stories.)

Collins was quick to point out that, despite tough negotiations on both sides of the table, Stock didn't want its workers to be on the unemployment line. "Stock was truly diligent in putting together a deal and keeping these people employed," he said. "Stock went out their way to preserve jobs where they could."