Building supply company closes after takeover bid fails

A Connecticut building supply company last week closed its Latham operation after a takeover effort

A Connecticut building supply company last week closed its Latham operation after a takeover effort failed.

C&S Building Materials recently closed its Avis Drive distribution and warehouse center, where about 20 people worked. The closure came about a month after C&S lender Sovereign Bank began soliciting industry competitors who might be interested in taking over the South Windsor, Conn.-based supplier, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

National building supplier Allied Building Products Corp. had eyed C&S’ assets, which include the one facility in upstate New York and two in Connecticut. By mid-October, the Connecticut supplier had indicated to employees in a memo that a potential deal between the businesses was under way, according to a sales representative at the Latham facility.

However, the East Rutherford, N.J.-based Allied opted not to pursue an acquisition, partly because it already has a warehouse operation on Railroad Avenue in Albany.

“C&S had difficulty with their lender … We opted not buy the company,” said Allied Vice President of Corporate Development Kevin Hawley.

Allied, which was founded in 1950 and has 200 locations nationwide, ended up employing one C&S worker from Latham at its Albany facility. The national supplier is now trying to move into C&S’ Connecticut warehouses in South Windsor and Bridgeport.

C&S officials could not be reached for comment Monday and no one answered the phone at its Latham facility.

The closure of C&S, which was founded in 1952, comes at a time when sales of new single-family homes nationwide are slumping. It also follows a period when building suppliers were lining up to enter the Capital Region’s relatively stable construction market.

Residential developers last year obtained 2,700 building permits from municipalities in the Albany/Troy/Schenectady area. That was 8 percent more than the 2,500 permits the received in 2006, which marked a nine-year low.

Despite the building slowdown, Hawley said Allied’s Albany operation continues to perform strongly. He does not expect C&S’ closure to send big ripples through the local supply chain.

“They didn’t have a big market share. I don’t think it will have a big impact up there,” said Hawley.

In the past two years, the Syracuse-based Erie Materials has opened a 103,000-square-foot wholesale store near Allied’s Albany operation and Little Falls Lumber Co. established a small yard in Clifton Park. The Raleigh, N.C.-based Stock Building Supply entered the New York market in 2004 by acquiring seven stores from Bellevue Builders Supply in Rotterdam.

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