Charlesbank Exits Cedar Creek

Charlesbank Exits Cedar Creek

Publicly-traded BlueLinx has agreed to acquire Cedar Creek, a wholesale distributor of building products, from Charlesbank Capital Partners for $413 million. Charlesbank acquired Cedar Creek in May 2010.

Cedar Creek has more than 30 distribution facilities in 29 states across the Midwest and Southeast. The company, with approximately 400 employees, is one of the country’s premier cedar distributors and largest lumber and manufactured wood distributors. Cedar Creek, led by CEO Alex Averitt, was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK (

“We are pleased to announce the combination of Cedar Creek and BlueLinx,” said Mitch Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlueLinx. “Cedar Creek’s commitment to organic growth and its customers as well as its track record of successful acquisitions make it an ideal partner for BlueLinx. The combination will significantly enhance our product portfolio by providing greater breadth and depth of building products and services for our customers and suppliers across our markets.

BlueLinx (NYSE:BXC) is a distributor of thousands of building products from suppliers all over the world to more than 10,000 customers nationwide, including dealers, industrial manufacturers, manufactured housing producers and home improvement retailers. The company operates through a network of 39 distribution centers located throughout the US. BlueLinx had revenues of $1.8 billion in 2017 and EBITDA of $44 million and has approximately 1,600 employees. The company was formed in May 2004 when its senior management, in partnership with Cerberus Capital Management, purchased the assets of the distribution division from Georgia-Pacific. BlueLinx went public in December 2004. The company is headquartered in Atlanta (

The combination of BlueLinx and Cedar Creek will create a building products wholesale distributor with one of the largest product offerings in the building products industry, including over 50,000 branded and private-label SKUs, and a distribution footprint of 70 national locations servicing 40 states. On a proforma basis, BlueLinx and Cedar Creek’s combined revenue was $3.2 billion in 2017 with an Adjusted EBITDA for 2017 of $154 million including approximately $50 million of annual cost savings.

Mitch Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlueLinx, will continue as CEO of the combined company, which will remain headquartered in Atlanta. Alex Averitt, CEO of Cedar Creek, will become COO of BlueLinx and D. Wayne Trousdale, Chairman of Cedar Creek, will become Vice Chairman of the operating companies.

“This transaction represents a major milestone in Cedar Creek’s storied history of growth and is a terrific outcome for Cedar Creek and BlueLinx,” said Josh Beer, Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners. “The combination with BlueLinx will create a leading building products distributor that is even stronger – financially, operationally and strategically. We are proud of what Cedar Creek has accomplished over the years in building a culture of excellence while delivering best-in-class service and products to customers.”

Charlesbank invests in management-led buyouts and growth capital financings in companies with enterprise values of $150 million to $1.5 billion. In October 2017, the firm held a final closing of Charlesbank Equity Fund IX at its hard cap of $2.75 billion. Charlesbank will invest between $50 million and $250 million in each Fund IX portfolio company and will also make opportunistic credit investments. Sectors of interest include consumer, industrial, industrial services and distribution, TMT and business services. The firm has offices in Boston and New York (

Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and HPS Partners have agreed to provide senior debt to support the buy of Cedar Creek by BlueLinx.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | March 19, 2018

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