January 22, 2018 / 10:19 PM / 4 months ago

Exclusive: Building products supplier SRS explores sale - sources

(Reuters) - SRS Distribution Inc, a U.S. private equity-owned wholesale distributor of building products, is exploring a sale that could value the company at close to $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision to explore a sale comes amid strong demand for roofing products. Americans are expected to spend nearly $340 billion in 2018 to upgrade or to patch up their homes, a 7.5 percent increase from last year, a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University showed last week.

Buyout firm Berkshire Partners LLC, the company that owns SRS, has hired Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and Harris Williams & Co to help run an auction for the company, the people said on Monday, cautioning that no deal was certain.

SRS has 12-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of around $200 million, the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Berkshire Partners and Barclays declined to comment, while SRS and Harris Williams did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

SRS offers a range of building products including nails, screws, gutters, lumber, paint and other accessories as well as tools. Roofing makes up almost 90 percent of its sales, according to the company’s website.

Berkshire bought SRS from private equity firm AEA Investors Ltd in 2013 for an undisclosed sum. At the time, the company was the fourth-largest residential roofing distributor in the country.

Other companies have also benefited from the strength in the sector. Shares of GMS Inc (GMS.N), the largest independent distributor of specialty building materials in the United States in which AEA also invested, have risen 76 percent since the company went public in May 2016.

    Reporting by Harry Brumpton in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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