NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading Ridge Capital Partners (“Leading Ridge”), a middle-market private equity investment firm based in Maryland and New York City, is pleased to announce the closing of the sale of its portfolio company, Rugby Architectural Building Products (“Rugby”), to Hardwoods Distribution Inc. (TSX: HWD). Rugby is one of America's leading distributors of architectural wood products, decorative surfacing, and doors and millwork to commercial and residential end users, with nearly $300 million in sales, 560 employees and 31 facilities across 35 states.
“Today is truly an exciting day for everyone involved in the tremendous growth and success of Rugby over the last several years,” said Robert Mayn, Partner at Leading Ridge. “We are very fortunate to have built a wonderful partnership with David Hughes and Drew Dickinson, Rugby’s CEO and COO respectively,” he continued, “and to have been a part of the talented team and industry-leading company they have built.”
Leading Ridge made its equity investment in Rugby in August 2011 to support Mr. Hughes and Mr. Dickinson in executing their strategic vision of expanding Rugby’s capabilities, both organically and via acquisition, to better serve its customers and suppliers. During Leading Ridge’s tenure as financial sponsor, Rugby grew its sales and EBITDA substantially, and generated an exceptional return on equity for its shareholders.
“I first met Zach Coopersmith and Robert Mayn in late 2009, and since then we have grown our sales nearly four times, expanded our team from 145 to 560 employees, and increased our geographic footprint from 11 to 31 locations,” said David Hughes, Rugby President and CEO. “They have been tremendous partners,” he continued, “Zach having been instrumental in sourcing and structuring the majority of our 16 acquisitions, Robert wearing numerous financial hats to assist in our growth, and both acting as a valuable strategic sounding board through the process of our rapid growth, maintaining the highest standards of integrity throughout. Our team has enjoyed not only a strong business partnership but also an enjoyable personal friendship with Zach and Robert, who have always prioritized the success of our team and company first and foremost.”
Leading Ridge’s investment strategy has been guided by an “operator-first” mentality over the past seven years. The Leading Ridge team has helped talented and proven operators realize their entrepreneurial visions and maximize their probability and scope of success, via providing flexible, creative and patient capital as well as acquisition, operational and financial expertise and support.
The Rugby investment exemplifies Leading Ridge’s mission of supporting management teams in creating niche-leading companies with exciting, growth-oriented workplaces, building enduring customer-centric focuses, and generating outsized risk-adjusted equity returns for its management teams and investors.
Zach Coopersmith, Partner with Leading Ridge, said, “When you back the right team, with the right plan, in the right niche, at the right time, with the right financial partners – magical things can happen. We are fortunate to have found a partner in Hardwoods that shares our entrepreneurial spirit and brings the same intense commitment to customers, suppliers, and employees that Rugby does. We are excited that this transaction will allow Dave, Drew, and the rest of Rugby Nation to continue doing what they do best.”
Zach Coopersmith continues to leverage an operator-first, niche-focused, lower middle market investing strategy in other areas of building products, having recently partnered with investor Matt Ogden to head Building Industry Partners (“BIP”), the leading building products-focused private growth equity investment firm. Together, they recently closed two new platform investments, Homewood Holdings and U.S. Fence Solutions, in the pro-dealer and fence distribution and installation industries, respectively.
KeyBanc Capital Markets served as the sole financial advisor and Holland & Knight served as legal counsel to Rugby on the sale transaction.
About Leading Ridge Capital Partners:
Leading Ridge Capital Partners, LLC (www.leadingridge.com) is a private equity firm, with offices in Maryland and New York, specializing in acquisitions, recapitalizations, and investments in value-added distribution, logistics, and light manufacturing companies in the lower-middle market. Leading Ridge is comprised of a successful team of operators with a broad array of business experience within the distribution and manufacturing sectors. The team possesses significant operational resources and the leadership experience needed to support rapid yet controlled growth of its portfolio companies.
About Rugby Architectural Building Products:
Rugby Architectural Building Products (www.rugbyabp.com) is a full-line wholesale distributor of specialty building products. Its primary business is the wholesale distribution of non-structural architectural grade building products sold principally to customers who supply end-products for the commercial, industrial, retail, residential and institutional markets. Headquartered in Concord, NH, with approximately $300 million in annual revenues, the company’s 560 employees serve over 22,000 customers across the United States, with a geographic footprint covering 35 states from 31 facilities nationwide.