AHF Products sells five of its plants and leases them back

AHF Products, which last month purchased three Armstrong Flooring plants, sold and leased back five other properties in its industrial portfolio.

The Lancaster-based hard-surface flooring manufacturer, driven in part by industry consolidation as well as investor demand for net leased industrial properties, plans to use the money to grow the company, according to real estate firm Newmark, which represented AHF.

The sale-leaseback includes five manufacturing and distribution facilities covering 1 million square feet in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky.

Fully occupied by AHF, the properties are subject to a long-term absolute net lease with annual rental escalations. They are within strategic proximity of AHF’s suppliers, lowering manufacturing costs and allowing the company to price its products competitively, a release said.

“Despite uncertainty in the marketplace and growing concerns of a recession, this portfolio garnered extensive interest from numerous institutional sale leaseback investors,” said Newmark Managing Director Briggs Goldberg. “Navigating through the turbulence of the past 90 days – including a 100-basis-point increase in treasuries—we maintained a competitive environment, which allowed us to hold the buyer to originally agreed upon terms.”

The three manufacturing facilities AHF acquired from Armstrong Flooring Inc., after Armstrong filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, are in Lancaster; Beech Creek, Pennsylvania; and Kankakee, Illinois.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

AHF Products buys Massachusetts vinyl flooring brand Parterre

Luxury vinyl tile maker, Parterre, is the latest to join AHF Products’ portfolio of flooring brands after the West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County company recently acquired certain assets of the Wilmington, Massachusetts-based manufacturer.

AHF announced Monday that it is expanding its offerings in the vinyl tile space with the acquisition of the Parterre brand from Parterre Flooring Systems. Parterre was one of the first designers and manufacturers of luxury vinyl, tile, plank and sheet flooring products in the country when it was founded in 1991.

The acquisition allows AHF to extend its reach into the commercial resilient flooring category, the company wrote in a press release.

This is the second acquisition for AHF after the company acquired Texas-based competitor LM Flooring in 2019.

“Our ongoing commitment is to create products that bring more value to our channel partners, across categories,” said Brian Carson, president and CEO of AHF Products. “When we look to vertically integrate and buy assets, we want to buy the best, and that’s what we did with Parterre branded products. It’s a brand built on quality, design and service, and we have exciting investment opportunities to further accelerate growth for our partners.”

Ralph Grogan, former Parterre CEO and new AHF team member, said that he and his team will help lead the commercial innovation and expansion arm for AHF.

“The innovative Parterre product designs, along with the A&D community relationships, will add breadth to AHF, and we look forward to engaging with the strong customer base and rapid growth initiatives to further expand the Parterre brand reach,” said Grogan. “The Parterre customers get the best of both worlds—seamless continuity with growth opportunity.”

AHF Product’s HQ emphasizes communication

AHF Products’ leadership saw a ceremonial log to welcome the official opening of the hardwood flooring company’s new headquarters. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

AHF Products’ new single floor, 43,000 square-foot headquarters will be designed to increase in-person communication and is already doing just that, according to leadership.

The hardwood flooring manufacturer moved into its own headquarters this month after leasing space from Armstrong Flooring’s Manor Township campus. It is renovating its new West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County base of operations as its workers use the space.

Armstrong’s hardwood manufacturing arm was sold to New York City-based private equity firm American Industrial Partners in January for $90 million and formed AHF, which began leasing space from the flooring giant that month.

AHF’s employees were located in different buildings throughout the campus, which made working between departments difficult and hindered creativity, said Brian Carson, the company’s CEO.

“The vinyl flooring folks are fantastic and I wish them nothing but the best but with our business and the dynamics of the wood market, it was time for our own space,” Carson said. “Being in control of our destiny and our own successes is invigorating.”

The company moved into its new 3840 Hempland Road headquarters on July 1 and will be renovating the building to include a work area where the marketing, engineering and product development staff will work together in one open space.

Just by having the entire staff in one building, AHF’s product and marketing teams have already cut down their use of emails by 80 percent, according to Wendy Booker, vice president of marketing and product development.

“The renovations will be fairly modest because the bones of the building were outstanding, which is why we came here,” Carson said. “But we want to maximize the potential of what it can provide to us in our work environment.”

The headquarters will also include a showroom as well as a customer service area separate from the main work area.

Carson said the emphasis on shared public spaces at the new AHF headquarters will allow the company to stay agile in the increasingly competitive hardwood flooring market.

“It facilitates and drives teamwork because we are all on one building with one floor,” he said. “We interact with each other every single day and it allows us to talk both formally and informally. We make decisions faster.”

The move to the new headquarters was projected to cost the company a total of $985,000 and was helped along by a $150,000 Pennsylvania First Grant. The grant was awarded to AHF by the state Department of Community and Economic Development because the new headquarters both retained local employment and employed an additional 68 people.

AHF Products acquires Texas wood-flooring manufacturer

Wood flooring manufacturer AHF Products expects to close on a deal next month with a Texas-based competitor.

LM Flooring is the first acquisition for the newly formed Manor Township-based AHF Products, a company derived from Armstrong Flooring’s hardwood-flooring business. The deal is a part of a greater strategy to grow quickly in the flooring industry by leveraging popular trends in the market, a spokesperson for the manufacturer said.

AHF Products has not disclosed the terms of the deal, which includes LM Flooring’s factory in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The plant makes flooring for markets in North America, Europe and Asia.

AHF specializes in solid and rotary-engineered hardwood flooring. LM’s plant will add sawn and sliced products to AHF’s portfolio.

The different manufacturing methods refer to ways flooring can be cut and yield differing results in terms of stability and look.

“LM’s capabilities means new product opportunities for existing AHF customers. LM customers can also now leverage AHF’s expertise in domestic manufacturing, rotary engineered and solid product in a variety of sizes and textures,” said Michele Zelman, the company’s spokesperson. “The Cambodian production capabilities also provide opportunities to duty-free/tariff-free product for U.S. customers.”

Zelman said the company doesn’t expect to make any changes to LM’s current staffing, noting that the only foreseeable change will be the addition of the new brand to AHF’s portfolio.

AHF couldn’t confirm how many employees will be joining the manufacturer from LM Flooring. LM was not immediately available for comment.

“The LM brand further expands our portfolio of strong brands, complementing our existing Bruce, Robins, HomerWood and Hartco brand presence,” said Mike Bell, COO of AHF. “Our strengthened manufacturing capabilities will create new growth opportunities for both AHF and LM channel partners.”

AHF announced at the beginning of the month that it will be moving its headquarters to West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County. The company expects to pay approximately $985,000 for the move as it leaves its current headquarters on Armstrong Flooring’s campus.

Wolf: AHF Products to move Lancaster County HQ

The company formed out of Armstrong Flooring’s hardwood-flooring business plans to move its headquarters to West Hempfield Township.

The company, AHF Products, is looking to spend about $985,000 as it moves its new headquarters, which is currently on the Armstrong campus in Manor Township.

AHF began leasing portions of Armstrong’s corporate offices after American Industrial Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm, purchased Armstrong’s hardwood flooring business and created AHF in January.

The hardwood flooring company plans to retain 69 of its employees after its move to the new headquarters at 3840 Hempland Road and expects to hire an additional 68 corporate positions within the next three years, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Tom Wolf. The release did not indicate when the move would take place.

AHF was not immediately available for comment.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development has awarded AHF a $150,000 Pennsylvania First Grant toward the project. AHF’s decision to keep its headquarters in the region was applauded by Wolf.

“This expansion by AHF demonstrates what so many manufacturers in Lancaster County and across Pennsylvania are finding- that this commonwealth is the best place for a manufacturing company to grow,” Wolf said in the release.

The project was a good fit for the criteria for the Pennsylvania First Grant as it both retains employment for the local residents already working for AHF and it employs another 68 corporate positions with an average salary of $73,000, according to Neal Weaver, the department’s executive deputy secretary.

American Industrial purchased Armstrong’s six wood flooring manufacturing facilities for $90 million. The company manufactures both solid and engineered hardwood flooring products.

“We look forward to many years of prosperity and growth in our new best-in-class facility, expanding and deepening our commitment to both local and national community,” Brian Carson, president and CEO of AHF, said in the release.