Helping companies build and thrive
Headquartered in Brooklyn Park, Minn., Scherer Bros. Lumber Co. is a third-generation, family owned and operated building materials supplier and manufacturer, serving professionals and homeowners in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Since opening its doors in 1930, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co. has grown into much more than a lumber supply company. It offers a wide variety of products and services, such as windows, wood specialty products, cabinets, engineered trusses, and custom millwork.
Like many lumber dealers in the 2000s, Scherer delved into the financing side of the market by making construction loans to contractors through an investment in a subsidiary, Alpine Capital, LLC. When the housing market collapsed, many of the contractors defaulted on their loans, and Alpine incurred significant losses. This, coupled with the severe drop-off in lumber operations between 2007 and 2008, restricted Scherer’s ability to access capital and fund ongoing business initiatives.
In 2010, Scherer hired a consultant to help liquidate the subsidiary and get back to the basics of running an efficient lumberyard operation. Scherer initially funded its recovery with a loan from its insurance company. Wells Fargo Capital Finance stepped in and refinanced that facility with an asset-based loan, saving Scherer close to $900,000 in annual interest.
In 2012, Wells Fargo Capital Finance proposed an expanded working capital line, and Scherer moved its credit facility from its incumbent lender of 20 years. The new $43 million-facility provided the flexibly the company needed, and helped it return to profitability and build for the future.
We, as a family owned and operated business, were extremely impressed by the team at Wells Fargo. They quickly analyzed our specific needs and generated an attractive five-year commitment. Their in-house experts worked through the details and closed on our transaction within our expected timeline. Our overall experience with Wells Fargo was outstanding.-Pete Scherer, president and chief executive officer, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co.