Business News

Doug Ashy buys Poole Lumber

by Leslie Turk

Legal dispute between Covington-based company’s heirs leads to estimated $4.5 million deal for Lafayette company.

Lafayette-based Doug Ashy Building Materials is buying Poole Lumber Company of Covington for an estimated $4.5 million. The deal is expected to close Sept. 1, Steve Ashy Sr., president and chief executive officer of the local company, tells ABiz.

Doug Ashy, which ranked No. 21 on ABiz’s most recent list of the Top Private Companies in the region with $102 million in 2014 revenues, opened its first store in Lafayette in 1960 and later added a second store in the city. It now also has stores in New Iberia, Rayne, Ville Platte and Breaux Bridge and more than 300 employees. It also operates Louisiana Drywall, a drywall and roofing supply company in Lafayette.

Owned for four generations by the same Covington family and celebrating its 70th year in business, Poole Lumber Company will retain its name after the sale is finalized. The current Poole workforce will be retained and more jobs and product lines will be added, according to Steve Ashy.

An ongoing legal dispute between the three owners of Poole Lumber, in which they were unable to agree on the direction the company should take, led to a deadlock in management. To settle the matter, 22nd Judicial District Court Judge William J. Knight agreed that the best resolution was a sale of the company.

Knight appointed as receiver Metairie CPA Wilson A. LaGraize Jr., who conducted the search for a buyer and is now guiding the transition to Doug Ashy ownership. According to the press release, Doug Ashy and his son Steve had a long friendship and professional relationship with W. Wallace Poole Jr., son of the founder of Poole Lumber and its second president. All three at one time served as president of the Louisiana Building Materials Dealers Association.

Poole Lumber will continue to honor all warranties on building materials already purchased at the company.

“We are remarkably similar to Poole, both in our roots and by our continuing passion to make sure our customers can rely on us to have the quality of materials they need,” Ashy says in the release. “But with our size, we bring more buying power and a wealth of knowledge with our more than 300 employees in the Lafayette area. This means the professional builders, contractors, Do-It-Yourselfers and other customers in St. Tammany will see more product lines, very competitive prices and the highest quality of both customer service and materials at our new location. We plan to be a partner in the growth of the Northshore area.”