Building industry-focused private equity investment firm Building Industry Partners (BIP) formed Southeast LBM Interests, a new regional LBM pro dealer organization, in partnership with industry veteran Roger Farmer. Southeast LBM Interests commenced operations with the acquisition of the assets of the Warner Robins family of businesses: Warner Robins Building Supply, Henson Building Materials, and Mountain Building Supply (collectively Warner Robins Supply).
Warner Robins Supply, founded in 1947, is an eight-location dealer serving local, regional, and national builders and contractors, as well as DIYers, in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. According to BIP, Warner Robins Supply generates over $80 million in annual sales.
“We’re excited to kick off our new regional LBM platform with these businesses as our foundation,” Matt Ogden, founder and managing partner of BIP, said in a prepared statement. “The southeast has strong housing construction fundamentals and it’s a region we have a deep affinity for, close strategic relationships in, and we’ve wanted to invest here for many years.”
Ogden said Southeast LBM is BIP’s first new platform under the firm’s “people-first purpose.”
“We’ll be implementing broad-based employee ownership programs, with supporting programs designed to set in motion the virtuous cycle of investing in people,” Ogden said. “There is a wonderful opportunity ahead for this family of companies, our employees, our customers, and all of our business partners.”
Mark Bayer, a second-generation owner of Warner Robins Supply, will remain as an advisor to Southeast LBM and chairman of Warner Robins Supply post-transaction.
“BIP has significant experience creating value in the businesses in which they invest,” Bayer said. “The Warner Robins Building Supply, Henson Building Materials, and Mountain Building Supply teams are energized about the prospects for the future with BIP.”
Roger Farmer will serve as the president of Southeast LBM and succeed Bayer as the president of Warner Robins Supply. The businesses will retain their brand names in their markets. According to BIP, Farmer has led and grown market-leading LBM businesses throughout the United States for over 25 years. Most recently, Farmer served as executive vice president of 10-location pro dealer Swift Supply. Farmer’s earlier career included time with 84 Lumber, Hope Lumber, and American Building Supply.
“I’ve been fortunate to work for outstanding family-owned businesses during my career. The formation of Southeast LBM gives me a great opportunity to become an owner, and to establish and lead the strategic direction of a great organization,” Farmer said. “I have the utmost respect for, and trust in, BIP, as well as great admiration for the Warner Robins family of companies.
BIP operating partner Nick Massengill will be part of the BIP investment team supporting Southeast LBM. Massengill previously served as the president of Robert Bowden, where he transitioned the organization to employee ownership in 2001 and led its sale to BMC Holdings in 2015.
Over the past decade, BIP has been involved in the formation of several leading industry players, including US LBM, Kodiak Building Partners, Homewood Holdings, U.S. Fence Solutions/Binford Supply, United Cabinet Holdings, and Rugby Architectural Building Products.