New South Construction Supply sold to Colony Hardware

New South Construction Supply sold to Colony Hardware
jim sobeck New South Construction Supply
Jim Sobeck

Greenville, S.C. — After nearly 21 years as owner of New South Construction Supply, Jim Sobeck has announced the sale of the company to Colony Hardware Corp, a direct-to-jobsite distributor of construction materials and supplies.

At 68 years old with 47 years experience in the industry, Sobeck said he feels no seller’s remorse after the deal. He fielded the right offer at the right time that works best for his family and his company.

New South Construction Supply“[LBM Journal columnist] Bill Lee once asked me, ‘how much of this success do you think is you?’ To me, it’s a triangle: hard work, luck, timing.”

Timing, in particular, played a role in the acquisition. Up until a few months ago when he was first contacted by Colony Hardware, Sobeck had been working on an ESOP program as his exit from the business. For six years, that had been a plan in the works.

“One of the reasons why I did it is — I have had other offers — but they said they loved our social media presence, they want to keep the brand and grow the brand, and keep our team while adding 5-10 acquisitions a year,” Sobeck said. 

With the financial strength to grow the brand, Sobeck knew his New South employees were in good hands, but after planning an ESOP for so long, he still found a way to take care of them through a phantom stock plan.

“That was important to me. I’m feeling good that I’m not leaving my team with just a gold watch and a handshake,” he said. 

Also important, was maintaining the culture he had built at New South. “We are proud to become part of the Colony Hardware family and especially pleased that our people and locations will remain the same as we add more locations to better service contractors across the South,” Sobeck said in a press release from Colony Hardware.

The sentiment was reinforced by Tim Rash, chief executive officer of Colony Hardware, who said: “Earning the trust of Jim Sobeck and the New South team further reinforces the industry view that we are the partner of choice for owners of distribution companies seeking to scale their business, grow their legacy, and help their valued employees prosper. More importantly, New South’s reputation for quality customer service and their dedicated associates mirror Colony’s ‘client-driven’ culture.”

As for future plans, Sobeck said he has a few things in the works. While consulting through a 90-day transition plan after the acquisition, he’s also working on updates to his book, “The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches.” He’s also working on a second book, coordinating some speaking appearances, serving on corporate boards, investing in real estate, and traveling with his wife. The couple has been to 55 countries with a goal to visit 100.

At 68, I still want to have time to smell the roses,” he said.