Harris Williams & Co. Advises Gypsum Management and Supply, Inc. on its Pending Recapitalization Led by AEA Investors LP and Management

February 12, 2014

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces that Gypsum Management and Supply, Inc. (GMS), the largest independent distributor of wallboard, acoustical and other specialty building products in the U.S., has entered into a definitive agreement to sell a majority equity stake to AEA Investors LP (AEA).  The company’s current management and shareholders will continue to have a significant investment in GMS.  Harris Williams & Co. is acting as financial advisor to GMS.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 and is being led by Mike Hogan, Ryan Nelson, Chris Williams, Brad Morrison and Jason Klinghoffer from Harris Williams & Co.’s Richmond office.  

Harris Williams & Co. has closed more than 80 transactions in the building products and materials industry in the past 20 years, including more than 30 since 2008.

“GMS is a tremendous platform with an outstanding management team and a truly unique culture.  Founders Dick Mueller and Dick Whitcomb, as well as President Mike Callahan, have done a remarkable job growing the company into a premiere building products distributor of national scale,” said Mike Hogan, a managing director and head of the Building Products & Materials Group at Harris Williams & Co.  “We are excited that GMS has found a partner who shares the company’s culture and vision and will provide valuable support for the continued expansion of GMS through entrance into new markets and targeted acquisition opportunities.”

“Harris Williams & Co. also advised Roofing Supply Group in its sale to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2012 and SRS Distribution in its sale to Berkshire Partners in 2013, two leading distributors of building products,” added Ryan Nelson, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co. “The GMS transaction is yet another example of the strong investor appetite for building products and materials companies.  We expect interest in the sector to continue as the residential and commercial construction markets return to normalized levels.”

Headquartered in Tucker, GA, GMS began operations in 1971 and is the largest independent distributor of wallboard products in the United States.  The company is also a leading distributor of acoustical products, steel studs and track, joint treatment, insulation and other building products for commercial and residential applications.  In total, GMS operates in 30 states through more than 140 branch locations. 

AEA was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets.  The firm’s active individual investors include an extraordinary network of more than 70 highly successful business executives, industrial families and influential institutional investors.  Today, AEA’s 70 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, London, Munich, Hong Kong and Shanghai.  The firm manages funds that have approximately $6 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small businesses and mezzanine and senior debt investing.  AEA invests across four sectors: value-added industrial products, specialty chemicals, and consumer/retail services.

Harris Williams & Co.’s Building Products & Materials Group has experience across a broad range of sectors, including building materials distribution, commercial and residential construction; infrastructure and public facilities; repair and remodeling; cabinetry, plumbing products, windows and doors; flooring and tiles; roofing and siding; HVAC and electrical; aggregates; asphalt; ready-mix concrete; cement; and engineering and construction services.  For more information on the firm’s Building Products & Materials Group, visit the Building Products & Materials Group website.

Harris Williams & Co.’s Specialty Distribution Group has experience across a variety of sectors, including specialty catalog and direct marketing; branch-based distributors; automotive and heavy duty aftermarket; building and construction products; consumer; industrial, MRO and safety; healthcare; technology; electrical and communications; alcohol, tobacco and fire arms; and environmental services. For more information on the firm’s Specialty Distribution Group, visit the Specialty Distribution Group website.