Executives at some of America's biggest lumberyards might not be seeing many builders these days, but they are getting awfully familiar with bankruptcy judges. Here's a scorecard:
Roper Brothers Lumber Co., No. 40 on the ProSales 100, filed Dec. 16 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection from creditors. Unlike other dealers, it closed all its facilities: four Virginia-based lumberyards and a millwork shop operating under the Roper name, Valley Lumber in Winchester, Va., and Taylor Brothers Lumber in Lynchburg, Va. Company chairman Philip R. Roper III, in a notice to employees, cited the "economic storm that has battered our industry and our business," and said liquidation "will provide the best opportunity for the company to maximize its ability to protect your interests."
Bison Building Materials, America's 14th-biggest LBM operation, is working out compromises with its creditors while in Chapter 11. Bison also won a one-month extension, until Jan. 29, of its debtor-in-possession credit facility. Houston-based Bison filed for Chapter 11 on June 28. It recorded a loss of $16.1 million on $214 million in revenue during the fiscal year ended last April 30. Between June 28 and Oct. 31, it incurred another $2.4 million worth of net losses.
Building Materials Holding Corp. (BMHC), No. 6 on the ProSales 100, won a bankruptcy judge's approval of its reorganization plan and intended to emerge from Chapter 11 in early Jan. 4. BMHC had run up $40.8 million in net losses from mid-June, when it entered Chapter 11, through September. It was set to record a $27 million loss for October were it not for a $44.8 million tax benefit. That enabled BMHC to swing to a $17.9 million profit for October.