Builders Hardware acquires EDS Architectural Openings

Foxconn construction influenced decision

Menomonee Falls-based Builders Hardware and Hollow Metal Inc. has acquired Kenosha-based EDS Architectural Openings Inc. The transaction was completed Dec. 31 for an undisclosed price.

“They’re in an identical line of business. They’re a competitor of ours,” said Wade Walla, owner of Builders Hardware.

The companies manufacture and distribute interior window frames and door openings for commercial applications. Builders Hardware also offers custom hollow metal forming services, and is one of just two companies in the state that can bend its own hollow metal frames, Walla said.

The acquisition was driven in part by the construction projects the company is bidding on for Foxconn Technology Group’s planned complex, which is expected to total at least 20 million square feet. Builders Hardware has already submitted bids on one of the first Foxconn buildings to be constructed, said owner Wade Walla.

EDS was sold by Rick Zimmerman, who will join Builders as a senior project manager. All three employees of EDS will be retained at Builders Hardware, but the Kenosha facility will soon be closed and those employees will work remotely or out of the company’s 44,000-square-foot Menomonee Falls headquarters. Builders may open a new Kenosha location once Foxconn construction ramps up, Walla said.

Walla acquired Builders Hardware in August 2016, and has since grown its headcount by 25 percent, he said. Builders now has 40 employees and annual revenue of $10 million. Walla expects revenue to grow about 10 percent as a result of the acquisition.

The new hires were added to meet demand, Walla said.

“The construction industry is just on fire right now,” he said. “There’s so much construction going on that it’s hard for us to get all the bid requests that we have. And many of our customers are just asking us to bid more projects for them and that’s one of the things that drove the acquisition of EDS.”

Builders Hardware serves about 600 construction companies throughout Wisconsin. With the acqusition, Builders will gain new customers and EDS will have access to more capital and a wider range of manufacturers to represent, Walla said.

Menomonee Falls-based Builders Hardware and Hollow Metal Inc. has acquired Kenosha-based EDS Architectural Openings Inc. The transaction was completed Dec. 31 for an undisclosed price.

“They’re in an identical line of business. They’re a competitor of ours,” said Wade Walla, owner of Builders Hardware.

The companies manufacture and distribute interior window frames and door openings for commercial applications. Builders Hardware also offers custom hollow metal forming services, and is one of just two companies in the state that can bend its own hollow metal frames, Walla said.

The acquisition was driven in part by the construction projects the company is bidding on for Foxconn Technology Group’s planned complex, which is expected to total at least 20 million square feet. Builders Hardware has already submitted bids on one of the first Foxconn buildings to be constructed, said owner Wade Walla.

EDS was sold by Rick Zimmerman, who will join Builders as a senior project manager. All three employees of EDS will be retained at Builders Hardware, but the Kenosha facility will soon be closed and those employees will work remotely or out of the company’s 44,000-square-foot Menomonee Falls headquarters. Builders may open a new Kenosha location once Foxconn construction ramps up, Walla said.

Walla acquired Builders Hardware in August 2016, and has since grown its headcount by 25 percent, he said. Builders now has 40 employees and annual revenue of $10 million. Walla expects revenue to grow about 10 percent as a result of the acquisition.

The new hires were added to meet demand, Walla said.

“The construction industry is just on fire right now,” he said. “There’s so much construction going on that it’s hard for us to get all the bid requests that we have. And many of our customers are just asking us to bid more projects for them and that’s one of the things that drove the acquisition of EDS.”

Builders Hardware serves about 600 construction companies throughout Wisconsin. With the acqusition, Builders will gain new customers and EDS will have access to more capital and a wider range of manufacturers to represent, Walla said.

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