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Professional Builders Supply (PBS), a six-year-old LBM operation that grew up in Stock Building Supply's shadow, opened today its first branch: a Wilmington, N.C., yard that Stock had closed earlier this summer.

The move by Morrisville, N.C.-based PBS comes just a few days after Stock confirmed it had reached agreements to sell inventory and equipment at facilities in Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, and Wisconsin. There also is a press report that a one-time Stock yard in Colorado will get a new owner.

Van Isley, president, Professional Builders Supply Photo: Charles Gupton Unlike the other deals, PBS didn't deal directly with Stock and didn't acquire any equipment or inventory, PBS president Van Isley told ProSales today in a telephone interview. Rather, PBS brought in its own inventory and equipment and is leasing the facility property from its landlords, which took back the location after Stock left. As part of its July 1 announcement that it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Stock said it would focus on 19 markets around the country. Wilmington wasn't on that list.

Isley said PBS would continue the lumberyard and installed services operation that Stock had in Wilmington, but it wouldn't reopen Stock's design center or cabinet shop. Stock also had a commercial door shop in Wilmington; that has been acquired by former owner Jacobi Hardware, also based in Wilmington, and has been reopened under the Jacobi name.

A majority of the roughly 30 employees in the Wilmington yard and installed sales unit have been retained, Isley said.

PBS was founded in August 2003 just a few miles from Stock's Raleigh, N.C.-headquarters (see "New Blood," ProSales, February 2007). By focusing largely on custom as opposed to production builders, by 2008 it had risen to No. 85 on the 2009 ProSales 100, with $29 million in sales in 2008, all of it to pros. The Wilmington facility represents its first expansion from its base in North Carolina's Research Triangle.

Aside from the commercial doors operation in Wilmington, a Stock spokesperson, quoting SVP of operations Steve Short, said last week that the company had made these deals:

  • Building Industry Partners (BIP), a Dallas-based private equity firm, will take over all of Stock's former locations in Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin. According to Stock's website, the company operated four sites in Connecticut, seven locations in New York, and 13 in Wisconsin. BIP managing principal Matt Ogden said in an e-mail to ProSales that BIP acquired the facilities in partnership with Bill Imig, Antonio Rossano, and Greg Gaskell, who managed the markets for Stock in those states. According to a report in a Schenectady, N.Y., newspaper, Stock locations will return to the Bellevue Builders Supply banner. Bellevue sold its business to Stock in 2004.
  • Stock's Sellersburg, Ind., operations were taken over by PC Building Materials of nearby New Albany, Ind. The store now operates under the PC name.
  • Stock's commercial door operation in Charleston, S.C., was taken over by Commonwealth Door & Hardware of Salem, Va., which took the inventory and hired the local employees for a new facility it opened in North Charleston.
  • The Stock facility in Asheville, N.C., was acquired by Brand Vaughan Lumber of Tucker, Ga., which has reopened the store under its name.

Discussions regarding other transactions are still taking place, the spokesman added. One of them might involve Alamosa, Colo. A Colorado newspaper reported that the family that owns the LaJara (Colo.) Trading Post had purchased the former Stock property in Alamosa, Colo., and plan to open it around Labor Day as Alamosa Building Supply.

Earlier, ProBuild announced it had set up business at a former Stock facility in Kalispell, Mont. ProBuild is leasing the facility from the yard's former owner, who worked as the general manager when Stock had the facility and now is working in the same capacity for Probuild.

In addition, two former owners of Tidewater Virginia's Kempsville Building Materials, in conjunction with Ohio's Carter Lumber, bought back their largest former location from Stock Building Supply plus a second Stock location in the area. And Seigle's of Illinois has reopened some facilities that it had sold to Stock.

Stock is the second-biggest LBM operation in the country.