With summer and the midpoint of 2015 upon us, the question on our mind this week is “Where are all the door and window merger and acquisitions (M&A) transactions?” With five months of the year behind us as of today, we have tracked only one large deal and one small deal that was not announced. The small deal involved the acquisition of a vinyl window manufacturer. The large deal was the Marvin acquisition of TruStile Doors. Notable for the size of the companies involved, that transaction also confirmed that the desire to be a one-stop shop is still an important factor in door and window acquisitions.

All of the major factors now and at the start of the year pointed toward a strong M&A market. Interest rates are low and debt to support acquisitions was readily available. Valuations multiples for manufacturers have risen enough to tempt the owners of businesses, many of whom wanted to sell before the last downturn. The economy is improving and the consensus is that the next three to five years will be very strong in the building industry.

So what mysterious forces are conspiring to make my predictions of stronger M&A activity this year than the prior year incorrect for the fifth year in a row? It’s possible that, now that their companies are making money again, some business owners remember how much fun this industry can be and aren’t in a rush to sell. Others may be dreaming of applying current valuation multiples to an even higher level of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at some point in the future. As an aside, multiples don’t have to drift too much lower as the current recovery nears middle age in order for that effect to outweigh an increase in EBITDA.

Another explanation for the dearth of transactions is that some companies may have chosen to expand instead of acquiring another business. Indeed, there have been more plant expansion stories this year than acquisitions. Companies like Thompson Creek, Vista and Minnkota Windows have opened new locations or expanded existing ones. Plant expansions are a welcome sign that industry insiders are highly confident in the recovery.

Based on deals on which we are working or of which we are aware, there will be more deal announcements before the end of the year. It doesn’t seem likely, though, that the number of deals will reach last year’s level of nine acquisitions. Perhaps I’ll guarantee not to be proven wrong again regarding next year’s M&A activity by not making a prediction at the end of 2015.

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