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 5M Group completes acquisition of Cox hardwood companies for $70 million
[Feb  1, 2024]

In December 2023, 5M Group led a joint venture as the managing partner and completed the acquisition of three hardwood manufacturing companies: Cox Interior, Cox Shavings and Cox Dimensions. Brothers Mark Reiter and Marty Reiter are co-founders and principals of 5M Ventures, a private equity division of their parent company, 5M Group, a commercial real estate development and private equity firm based in Chicago. The Reiters oversee real estate development, construction, and brokerage teams as they expand 5M Group and the private equity investments of 5M Ventures.

Cox Interior, the core business comprising 90% of the acquisition, manufactures and distributes milled building products such as mouldings, interior and exterior hardwood doors, mantels, stair parts and systems, custom trim and custom millwork used in new construction, repair and remodeling. Cox Shavings offers wood shaving byproducts used for animal bedding. Cox Dimensions is a wood kiln drying and wholesaling company.

The Reiter's said the acquisition of the Cox companies is a "major step in fulfilling the mission of 5M Ventures" to execute mergers and acquisitions within the real estate construction supplies industry across the country. The Cox companies produced $70 million of revenue in 2023 at 11 locations in the Southeast while utilizing a 937,000-square-foot facility on a 144-acre manufacturing campus south of Louisville, Kentucky. Notable Cox Interior clients for custom millwork, wood doors and trim packages include Cracker Barrel, Churchill Downs, and Maker's Mark Distillery.

In announcing the completed acquisition, Mark Reiter stated, "In acquiring the Cox companies, we have created a portfolio company for building construction supplies that will bring tremendous value to our relationships with real estate contractors, developers and architects across the country. As a vertically integrated US manufacturer of cabinets, interior and exterior doors, trim molding and custom millwork, the Cox companies are significant assets in the 5M mission of building next-generation real estate."

Marty Reiter added, "The 40-year-old family businesses of the Cox companies currently employ 450 people and are consistent with 5M Group's core values, sharing our outlook on future growth. We look forward to adding other complementary manufacturing companies to the portfolio to create additional value and increase our product offerings."

The strategic acquisition of the Cox companies is foundational to 5M's long-range growth plan. 5M has announced 2024 expansion plans that include the opening of three additional Cox Interior locations in the key regional cities of Chicago, Charlotte and Miami.

Additional plans currently in the pipeline for 5M in synergy with the acquisition of the Cox companies include:

-- Acquiring Whitney & Whitney Lumber Company, a specialty hardwood manufacturer in Kentucky that focuses on unique species of hardwood
-- Closing on an equity investment in Maine Plywood, a Multiply underlayment plywood manufacturer, that will be fully operational by Q4 of 2024

Partners assisting 5M in the closing of the Cox companies acquisition included Tom Fullerton of Akerman, Mike Richmond of the Horton Group, Scott Hales of Marksman Ventures and Darrin McCauley of Old National Bank.