An open secret among building material supply executives reached the general public today when the Reuters wire service reported that the owners of US LBM, ProSales' 2015 Dealer of the Year, have put up the company for sale.

"US LBM's private equity owner, BlackEagle Partners LLC, has hired Harris Williams & Co to run an auction for the company," Reuters quoted people familiar with the deal as saying.

As early as January, in our Dealer of the Year story, ProSales has noted that BlackEagle's time as owner of US LBM was coming to an end. In March, BlackEagle founding partner Jason Runco told Crain's Detroit Business that "a sale of US LBM is a necessity sooner or later." Private equity funds typically sell the companies they've invested in about five years after taking an initial stake, and US LBM was founded in 2009.

During a presentation today in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, US LBM president and CEO L.T. Gibson said US LBM now has annual revenues of about $1.8 billion and a net profit margin of 7%. Asked by ProSales about the sale rumors, Gibson often has noted that roughly a quarter of US LBM's shares are owned by him and by the presidents of the company's operating units. He stressed today that any buyer who acquires US LBM almost certainly will seek to run the company in the same manner that it's managed now.