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Case Study

Cedar Creek


After the 2009 housing market crash drove down operating cash flows and multiples, Charlesbank began an 18-month initiative to acquire a strong platform business in the building products distribution industry. We partnered in the effort with Bill Adams, an industry veteran and longtime member of our executive network. Bill introduced us to Cedar Creek, an Oklahoma-based distributor of cedar and other building products with seven facilities. In our due diligence, we recognized Cedar Creek as a business with strong customer relationships and a proven growth strategy that was in need of expansion capital.


Charlesbank conducted an exclusive negotiation with the three owners of Cedar Creek. We completed a recapitalization in 2010, acquiring a majority stake in partnership with the existing owners and management. We subsequently supported the business with additional equity to fund follow-on acquisitions, organic growth projects and new greenfield distribution centers.

Charlesbank Role

Senior Management: Recruited CEO Bill Adams (later Chairman) and helped to identify and hire several other key executives

Corporate Infrastructure: Worked with management team to develop scalable infrastructure, including conversion of outdated IT system into best-in-class platform

Geographic Expansion: Supported management in negotiating and executing a number of acquisitions to accelerate expansion strategy into the Southeast and Upper Midwest regions

New Product Lines: Invested capital to grow value-added products, such as prefinished siding and timbers, improving share of wallet with key customers


During our ownership, Cedar Creek completed nine acquisitions in geographies contiguous to its core markets and opened six greenfield branches, growing coverage from seven to 31 facilities with service to 29 states. Implementation of a cloud-based technology platform with real-time visibility allowed branch managers to optimize sales performance, inventory management and delivery costs. Since our 2010 investment, the company more than tripled revenue and EBITDA.  In April 2018, Charlesbank sold its ownership to BlueLinx (NYSE: BXC) a distributor of building products based in Atlanta.


Key Team Members
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