Leaders LLC advises Rufus Deering Company on its Sale to Eldredge Lumber & Hardware

November 30, 2016

The Rufus Deering Company’s lumberyard was founded in 1854, and has operated continuously on Portland’s Commercial Street since that time. The business was founded by Rufus Deering, and purchased by William M. Moody Sr. 100 years later in 1955. After more than 60 years of operation by the Moody family, which included the creation of the Company’s highly visible Kitchen Showroom & Design Center, and with no third generation family member in the business, the Moody family reached the conclusion that It would separate the lumber business from the Commercial Street real estate on which it is located. In Portland’s commercial real estate market, the Rufus Deering real estate has significant value if developed for a different use.

Therefore, this sale mandate was unusual,, and particularly challenging, in that Leaders’ assignment required that Leaders identify a buyer that would relocate the business from its current, longstanding location—and at the same time obtain a favorable purchase price for the owners of Rufus Deering. In addition, Leaders’ mandate required that the sale process be conducted rapidly in order to enable the proposed sale of the real estate to proceed on schedule. Finally, a major objective of the Moody family was to structure a sale transaction pursuant to which as many employees as possible would be employed by the buyer.

The sale process conducted by Leaders identified and produced a buyer and a sale transaction that achieved the objectives of the owners of Rufus Deering. The buyer, Eldredge Lumber & Hardware, is a family-owned business headquartered in York, Maine. Its culture and values are similar to those of Rufus Deering. Furthermore, to expand its geographic market and its products and services, in recent years Eldredge had expanded to Portland, establishing a Lumberyard and Window & Door Showroom in Portland. At closing, all but a few of the Rufus Deering employees were offered employment by Eldredge, and Eldredge relocated the Rufus Deering Lumberyard business from Commercial Street to its Portland lumberyard.

The sale process conducted by Leaders was fast and efficient. Leaders was retained by Rufus Deering on June 1; the process of contacting prospective buyers, which included building supply businesses that are local, regional and nationwide, began on August 1; and the sale to Eldredge closed on November 30.

Legal counsel to Rufus Deering commented after the closing that “Leaders was terrific, which was no surprise … .” And Bill Moody simply stated: “You have been a blessing to the Moody Family.”