Deal creates industry’s fourth-largest distributor
Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21
By Steven Feldman
Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based All Holdings Inc., parent company of All Tile, one of the largest flooring distributors in the Midwest, on Feb. 10 purchased Carpet Cushions & Supplies (CCS). The deal (terms of which were not disclosed) makes the combined company the fourth-largest flooring distributor in the nation, with annual sales eclipsing $150 million.
Founded in 1979 by Jeff Karsen and his father, Aaron, CCS is one of the largest wholesale floor covering distributors of carpet cushions, installation supplies, and tools in the country. Its 20 Midwest branch locations in seven states service independent carpet and flooring installers, floor covering retailers and commercial floor covering contractors.
All Tile and CCS will collectively service 14 Midwest states. CCS will continue to operate as an independent company under the auspices of Jeff Karsen. All Tile will also continue to operate in its current configuration.
“CCS is one of the largest padding and supply companies in the country,” said Bob Weiss, CEO of All Holdings and president of All Tile. “The company has grown both organically and through acquisition to become a great force in the Midwest.”
Weiss added that because CCS has been family run since its inception, the business parallels All Tile. “The culture and values of both companies are aligned. We think we found our twin company. Culture is extremely important in these types of moves and is important in how you run your business. We both take a long-term approach and look to do the right thing; no one is going for the one-time sale.”
Foreseeing a seamless transition, Weiss said there are no changes planned in the immediate future. “Right now we are going to digest what we have. It’s business as usual. The whole battery of CCS is in tact and will remain. They are the experts; that’s how the company got into the position it is in today.”
He noted this deal is a departure from previous All Tile acquisitions where a company had to be acquired, whether they no longer wanted to be in the business, were financially strapped or had no succession plan. “That was not the case here. CCS is a well-run, profitable company with tremendous market share and a strong balance sheet.”
Weiss told FCNews the acquisition was in the making for 10 years, although discussions didn’t become serious until this past summer. “Acquiring CCS allows for economies of scale and improved logistics. It allows us to provide a complete solution to the architectural community with complementary products. All Tile has products primarily for above the floor; CCS offers products and supplies for below the floor, with the exception of Roppe.” He added that in the future the deal will allow for All Tile customers to will call products at CCS branches.
Given that this deal comes less than a month after the industry’s top distributor, Haines, purchased CMH Space, FCNews asked Weiss if this is the beginning of consolidation at the distributor level. “I can’t speak for others, but I know this is the future for our structure,” he said. “We need to make sure our manufacturers can get to the market efficiently, so we will do what needs to be done to make this happen. And we need to have the systems in place to have our retail customers’ stores compete with big boxes and other large-scale retail entities.”
The deal between CCS and All Tile will officially close Feb. 28.