THE HOME DEPOT AND BUILDERS FIRST-Source, a top dealer to home builders, have pursued aggressive growth strategies in recent months.

The Home Depot, based in Atlanta, looked to jump-start the growth of its Supply division and its ties to the production builder community with the June acquisition of Sewanee, Ga.–based Williams Brothers Lumber, which ranked as the 14th largest pro dealer nationwide in the PROSALES 100, published in May. (PROSALES and BUILDER are both published by Hanley Wood, LLC.) According to that ranking, Williams Brothers has 1,100 employees and posted $440 million in sales in 2004. It operates 17 stores and four truss plants in Georgia.

Just weeks later, Home Depot Supply announced the purchase of National Waterworks, the country's top distributor of water and wastewater transmission system products. The company distributes components used to transmit water and wastewater to and from both residential and commercial projects. It operates more than 130 branches in 36 states and had net sales of $1.5 billion in 2004, The Home Depot reports.

In other dealer news, Builders FirstSource, the No. 6 supplier according to ProSales, made its initial public offering June 22. Though The Home Depot was rumored to have been interested in buying Builders FirstSource last year, the dealer opted to pursue growth by going public. “It allows us to continue growing the business. It's a new source of liquidity,” says Charles Horn, the company's CFO.

The company issued 12.25 million shares at $16 each. At press time, the stock closed at $19.42.