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Building Industry Partners forms regional LBM platform in Southeast

 

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Building Industry Partners LLC (BIP), a building industry-focused private equity investment firm, has formed a new regional lumber and building materials pro dealer organization, Southeast LBM Interests. The group was formed in partnership with pro dealer industry veteran, Roger Farmer.

In announcing the organization, BIP and Farmer said Southeast LBM was formed to build a best-in-class, people-first regional LBM pro dealer organization in the Southeast U.S., commencing with the acquisition of the assets of the Warner Robins family of businesses: Warner Robins Building Supply Co., Henson Building Materials, and Mountain Building Supply.

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Founded in 1947, Warner Robins Supply is a longstanding independent, eight-location LBM pro dealer, serving local, regional and national builders and contractors, as well as do-it-yourself customers, in Warner Robins, Georgia and across seven rural markets throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The business generates over $80 million in annual sales and employs over 190 people.

The transaction addressed the Bayer family’s succession planning needs for the business. Mark Bayer will remain as an advisor to Southeast LBM and Chairman of Warner Robins Supply post-transaction, after more than 40 years leading the organization. Farmer will serve as president of the platform Southeast LBM and succeed Bayer as president of Warner Robins Supply. The businesses will retain their longstanding business’ names in the market.

Matt Ogden, founder & managing partner of BIP, said, “We’re excited to kick off our new regional LBM platform with these businesses as our foundation. The Southeast has strong housing construction fundamentals and it’s a region we have deep affinity for, close strategic relationships in, and we’ve wanted to invest here for many years. On the personal front, four generations of my grandfathers are buried in Southeast Georgia, and I spent my annual holidays as a child in Tallahassee, Fla. — so I have extra fire for building a business in this region. We’re buying longstanding, high-integrity businesses here, with such good people, who are excited to be part of a bold, but realistic, growth vision for the future. We’re introducing a new proven, growth-minded LBM leader in Roger Farmer (46), growth capital, and a commitment to elevate the business’ employee value proposition and operational performance.”

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Ogden also noted, “Southeast LBM is BIP’s first new platform under our 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. 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 the Warner Robins Supply, commented, “BIP has significant experience creating value in the businesses in which they invest. The Warner Robins Building Supply, Henson Building Materials, and Mountain Building Supply teams are energized about the prospects for the future with BIP. I believe our combined talents and capabilities will deliver great results for our customers.”

Farmer, who joins as president of Southeast LBM, has led LBM businesses throughout the U.S. for over 25 years. He most recently served as executive vice president of a sixth-generation family-owned pro dealer, Swift Supply, where he led ten locations in Alabama and Florida, including green fielding millwork, component, and showroom facilities. Farmer’s earlier career spanned pro dealers 84 Lumber, Hope Lumber, and American Building Supply.

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“BIP’s core business model is to sponsor the best and brightest operators in the building products industry in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams. Roger has grown up in the LBM industry and has created success for others and himself at all levels of the organizations he has led — including in small markets, big markets, with national builders, custom builders, and DIYers, and across commodities, components, and hardlines. We are thrilled and honored to sponsor Roger in pursuing his entrepreneurial vision. We are beginning with acquiring a business he’s long known and admired — the Warner Robins family of companies, in markets he knows well —Georgia and the Southeast U.S., where he’s had terrific success growing businesses of this complexion before,” said Pat Mascia, partner & head of strategic development for BIP.

Farmer commented, “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. I have the utmost respect for, and trust in, BIP, as well as a great admiration for the Warner Robins family of companies. I’m looking forward to partnering with the teams at BIP and Warner Robins Building Supply, Henson Building Materials, and Mountain Building Supply on this growth journey.”

BIP Operating Partner Nick Massengill, a Georgia native and greater Atlanta-based LBM veteran, will be part of the BIP Investment Team supporting Southeast LBM. Massengill previously served as president of Robert Bowden Inc., which was sold to BMC in 2015.

Founded by Matt Ogden in 2008, BIP is headquartered in Boston, with partners across the U.S. The firm is led by Ogden and Partners Mascia, Pete Robinson, and Stu Kliman. 

Pat Mascia can be reached at pmascia@buildingip.com.

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