After nearly two years of aggressive acquisition, more change is in store for the pro dealer divisions of Lanoga, Strober, and Hope Lumber & Supply that have merged to create the Pro-Build entity. The company used the 2007 International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla., to launch a new brand identity centered on an "endorser-based" logo and Pro-Build moniker that company divisions will be adopting to varying degrees over the next several years.
While some Pro-Build entities will immediately assume the new corporate identity, other operating branches–including Southern California's Dixieline and Alaska's Spenard Builders Supply–will continue to leverage their local brand identities. Still, "people are moving pretty quickly" on the order of assuming the Pro-Build branding as part of the company's commitment to a "long run market where we want to stay and play," says Paul Hylbert, who was named Pro-Build CEO on Jan. 25. Hylbert succeeds Fred Marino, who will remain as vice chairman of Pro-Build to focus on acquisitions and new business development. Pro-Build has moved its headquarters to Denver and on March 12 announced it has created four regional districts that its 10 divisions will operate under to help facilitate efficient nationwide operations.
Acquisition is on other big dealers' minds as well, but they're being selective. BMHC announced Feb. 9 it was terminating a letter of intent to acquire $90 million Las Vegas roofing contractor Willis Roof Consulting, which was to be folded into BMHC's SelectBuild construction services division. No reason was provided for the canceling of the acquisition, but don't expect BMHC to sit still for long. At IBS, SelectBuild CEO Mike Mahre told ProSales that the company is committed to its value-added growth model, including the additional acquisition of companies that can complement a foundation-to-finish service package for high-volume, national production builders.
Meanwhile, Builders FirstSource chairman and CEO Floyd Sherman said Feb. 23 that while the company saw "a surprising number of acquisition targets," it is taking extra time to make certain it's not valuing those companies based on financial statements from the latest building boom. It's focusing now on expanding its installed sales activities, primarily through internal growth rather than by acquiring companies. BFS also gets 5% to 7% of its business these days from multifamily and light commercial projects.
News coming out of Pennsylvania finds 84 Lumber also gearing up for a year heavy on the value-added, manufacturing end. In a statement released Jan. 31, company president Maggie Hardy Magerko said 84 plans to open at least 23 new yards and 11 component plants in 2007, focusing in particular on "high-growth," markets that have a minimum of 3,000 annual housing starts. 84 identified seven markets where the company plans to open component plants this year: Jacksonville, Fla.; Salt Lake City; Aurora, Colo.; McFarland, Wis.; Las Vegas; San Antonio; and Hesperia, Calif.
As 84's COO, Bill Myrick undoubtedly helped make those plans, but he won't be around to fulfill them; the company announced Feb. 23 that Myrick had resigned "to pursue other opportunities." Those opportunities turned out to be with Pro-Build, which announced less than a week later it had hired Myrick as senior vice president of strategic initiatives.
Also reorganizing at the executive–and operational–level is The Home Depot and its pro-focused HD Supply division. In the wake of CEO Robert Nardelli's resignation Jan. 3, on Feb. 12 the company announced a "strategic evaluation" of its pro division to include a possible sale, spin-off, or initial public offering of the business. "We are undertaking this action today because of our desire to increase our focus on our retail business," said Nardelli's CEO replacement Frank Blake in a statement.