Mead Lumber Co., the 25th-biggest LBM operation on the ProSales 100, continued its growth this year by purchasing Dakota Craft Inc.'s Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Truss Craft division.

The transaction, slated to be completed by Jan. 31, brings to the Mead family a company it describes as the No. 1 component manufacturer and distributor in southeast Wyoming. "Further developing our market position in Cheyenne, Wyoming--one of the country's healthiest markets--has been a goal of ours for some time now," Mead Lumber president Craig Bradshaw said in a news release issued Thursday. "Being able to combine the resources of Mead Lumber and Truss Craft is a rare opportunity."

The Truss Craft deal follows Mead's Oct. 31 purchase of Fullerton Lumber locations in Vermillion, Yankton, and Winner, S.D., as well as Fullerton's Farm and Ranch Building Supply operation in Norfolk, Neb. And in August, Mead's Knecht Home Centers unit acquired Sonny's Ace Hardware of Canon City, Colo.

Mead, which is based in Columbus, Neb., now counts 36 lumberyards, truss plants, hardware stores, and mill shops in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming

Meanwhile, Rapid City, S.D.-based Dakota Craft "will use the proceeds of the transaction to build its balance sheet amid the continuing housing downturn and refocus on other initiatives," Mead's announcement said. It quoted Dakota Craft president Shannon Thornburg as saying "the concept of creating a debt-free business which can withstand this downturn, however long that may be, was compelling. We look forward to focusing on some key opportunities in other markets."

Mead compiled $141 million in sales last year, 81% of it to professional builders and remodelers, according to this year's ProSales 100.