Tibbetts Lumber Acquires Central Florida Truss Company

Industry News ,

Originally Published by: LBM Journal — August 17, 2021
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Tibbetts Lumber Co. LLC has announced it is acquiring Largo, Florida-based Florida Forest Products LLC. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based multi-location building materials supplier will acquire all of the assets of the single-location, Largo, Florida-based roof and floor truss manufacturer.

“Florida Forest Products’ team and facility are highly complementary to our existing metro Tampa/St. Petersburg operations and we have many overlapping customers within various product segments,” said Kyle Hooker, executive chairman and owner of Tibbetts Lumber. “Florida Forest Products gives us a very geographically-strategic footprint to complement our Central Florida truss production, and Rick’s team is experienced, well-disciplined, and respected in the marketplace. This is an exciting first acquisition for us.”

Rick Cashman, owner of Florida Forest Products, added, “I’m excited that Tibbetts Lumber shares our business philosophy and will continue the high level of product quality and customer service that we have provided to our customers for many years. In addition, Tibbetts Lumber has a very strong and experienced management team that will be able to lead and provide more opportunities for our great team!”

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“We could not be more excited to work with the Florida Forest Products team and bring aboard their talent, expertise, tenure, and production capability to complement and enhance ours,” said Tibbetts Lumber’s Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management Marni Tovsen.

With the transaction, Tibbetts Lumber’s U.S. footprint now increases to seven locations throughout Florida and its sister company, Cox Lumber Ltd., has two locations in the Cayman Islands.

“Florida Forest Products’ ‘Core Values’ and business model aligns perfectly with ours.  This acquisition really kickstarts our strategic growth plan in Florida and throughout the Southeastern U.S,” said Tibbetts Lumber’s Vice Chairman and CEO Russ Hallenbeck.

Tibbetts Lumber Co. serves regional and custom/semi-custom builders and remodelers with locations in St. Petersburg, Land O’Lakes, Ocala, Crystal River, Palm Bay, and Lehigh Acres (Ft. Myers), Florida. Primary business lines include roof and floor trusses, lumber and building materials, interior and exterior doors, millwork and trim, windows, siding, and specialty items for new home construction and remodeling.

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Tibbetts Lumber is essentially a rebirth of the former Cox Lumber Co., the company says, which was purchased in 1949 by Hooker’s grandfather, Linton N. Tibbetts, OBE and operated until 2006, when it was acquired by a subsidiary of The Home Depot. Cox Lumber Co. had 28 Florida locations at the time of the sale, and in 2009, Hooker and his family started Tibbetts Lumber Co.

Hooker said, “After we sold Cox, my grandfather and I felt like fish out of water.  We really didn’t know what to do at that point. So, we decided to start Tibbetts in 2009, and we have hired back over 70 of our former employees who have helped recreate the unique, family and employee-centered, and very special culture that my grandfather Linton, Bob Fehr (former Cox president and director), and Juan Quesada (former Cox and Tibbetts Lumber president and current director of Tibbetts Lumber) created over the course of 57 years.  I truly think we have taken that culture and ‘feel of the company’ to an even greater level at Tibbetts Lumber, and we are excited to continue our growth with the acquisition of Florida Forest Products with its similarly embedded culture.”