Foundation Building Materials locations as of Feb. 10, 2017
Foundation Building Materials locations as of Feb. 10, 2017

Foundation Building Materials (FBM), which describes itself as the nation's No. 2 dealer in wallboard and suspended ceilings--began public trading of its shares today. The move shines a light on a private firm that has seen its revenues rise 10-fold in less than four years to reach $1.4 billion in sales and 210 branches in the U.S. and Canada. That's easily enough to make it likely FBM will join this year's ProSales 100 as a top 10 firm.

The 12.8 million shares in FBM common stock (with an option to sell up to 1.92 million more) were priced at $14 each for today's trading, below the $17 to $19 range the company had forecast in a Feb. 3 SEC filing. It rose as high as $15.85 before closing at $15.50.

The private equity group Lone Star Funds bought FBM in October 2015, owned all the shares prior to the public offering. and will retain between 66% and 70% of all shares after the public offering.

Tustin, Calif.-based FBM started in 2011 with a single branch in Southern California and had $113.7 million in sales in 2013. It has made 19 acquisitions since then, most notably Winroc, which by itself was the 14th biggest company on the 2016 ProSales 100, with sales in 2015 of $484.4 million.

According to an SEC filing, for all of 2016, FBM expects to report sales between $1.38 and $1.4 billion and gross profit between $387 million and $402 million, and a net loss between $36.2 million and $23.9 million. In the nine months ended Sept. 30, FBM got 42% of its revenue from wallboard and accessory sales, 14% from sales of metal framing, 16% from sales of suspended ceiling systems, and 10% from sales of commercial and industrial insulation.

The company says it has more than 30,000 customers, which it serves with 325 field sales reps, a fleet of 2,725 vehicles. Over 90% of its branches are in the United States. (See map.)