Herald JournalHerald Journal, August 29, 2004

Lester’s ownership deal completed recently

By Ryan Gueningsman

Lester Building Systems is now officially owned by locals again, following a management buyout of the Lester Prairie business from Butler Manufacturing Company recently.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lester Buildings manufactures pre-engineered post-frame building systems for the light commercial, equestrian, suburban, agriculture and livestock building markets, and has grown to be one of the United State’s largest suppliers of such buildings.

Current President John Hill, along with Senior Vice President of Sales Larry Lembrich, Marketing Manager Tom Borgman, Controller and Human Resources Manager Marcia Langseth, Engineering Manager Paul Boor, Field Construction Manager Cathy Telecky, and Lester Prairie Regional Service Manager Craig Loger, closed the transaction July 29.

“There is a combined 71 years of experience with the group, Hill said.

“We are tremendously excited about this business and the opportunity to move forward with our growth objectives. The company is in a unique position to take off, having used the last few years to completely retool itself from the ground up – distribution, product, technology – you name it, we’ve upgraded and are much more efficient in a very competitive industry. We are excited to begin this new phase of our history.”

As before, the company will continue operations under two names: Lester Building Systems, LLC, the manufacturing company that designs, engineers and manufactures structures to be erected by independently-owned contractors, and Lester Buildings, LLC, the factory-direct sales and construction arm.

“The Lester name, especially in our core midwestern states, is associated with top quality and value. We intend to build upon the brand as we move forward,” Hill said.

Lester dealers, suppliers, and end customers can expect a virtually seamless transition, with a continuation of all operations including the company headquarters in Lester Prairie and service centers located in Charleston, Ill., and Clear Brook, Va.

Lester’s was purchased by Butler Manufacturing in 1986. Butler is deciding to exit the post-frame construction industry, according to a Lester Building Systems press release.

A previous purchase agreement was in place, but in December 2003, the deal fell through due to lack of consent from the company’s senior lenders.

The deal has since been worked out, and the new Lester’s management team has taken over the day- to-day operations of the plants and business.


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