Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUL 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Knauf buys USG Gebr. Knauf KG and USG announced that Knauf will acquire all of the outstanding shares of USG in a transaction valued at approximately $7 billion. Investor Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the transaction. The combined company will produce a global building materials firm that will merge two highly complementary businesses, products and footprints to better meet the needs of both compa- nies' end-market customers. Following the close of the transaction, USG will continue to be managed locally in the United States, and Knauf intends to maintain USG's existing corporate headquarters in Chicago, as well as its facilities in North America. "We are excited to enter into an agreement to acquire USG. As a long- term USG shareholder, we greatly admire USG's strong brands, leading market po- sitions in North American wallboard and ceilings, and highly talented employee base," says Alexander Knauf, general partner of Knauf. "We look forward to building on USG's strong presence in North America." Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of USG, says, "We believe this transaction will create new opportu- nities for both companies' customers and will benefit USG's employees, who will be part of a truly global building products company." The transaction is expected to close in early 2019. | UPCOMING EVENTS TOP 500 LIVE set for Las Vegas venue Qualified Remodeler magazine announc- es that the 3rd annual TOP 500 LIVE! conference will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on March 14 and 15 in 2019. For each of its first two years, the event has attracted more than 300 CEOs and home improvement entrepreneurs. The theme of the conference is lead genera- tion, sales management and sales skills. Speakers confirmed for the 2019 event include Rodney Webb, Tony Hoty and many others. "Our success with our first two events has enabled us to expand the possibili- ties of what this conference can be," says Patrick O'Toole, publisher, editor and co-owner of Qualified Remodeler . In 2018, the event attracted 28 sponsors and 450 registrants. O'Toole says the 2019 event will seek to attract additional nation- al speakers as well as presentations from at least 10 CEOs of Top 500 firms. To learn more about the 2019 event and register, go to QRTop500Live.com. MATERIALS PRICES Lumber prices up more than 50 percent Companies in Qualified Remodeler's soon-to-be released annual Top 500 list cite rising material prices as the second most critical challenge they face in 2018. The biggest challenge remains finding skilled labor as well as management employees. Both challenges are driving up the cost of doing business for remodeling firms. Lumber prices in particular have seen a dramatic rise. Random Length's composite index of framing lumber prices was $398 in mid-June last year. This year the price currently is nearly $200 higher, at $582. Random Lengths Inc. 2018 QualifiedRemodeler.com QR July 2018 11 $600 $575 $550 $525 $500 $475 $450 $425 $400 $375 2Q '17 3Q '17 4Q '17 1Q '18 2Q '18

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