Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc.
A Leading Manufacturer of Toilet Seating Products
Columbus, Mississippi and Butler, Alabama
United States Bankruptcy Court Northern District of Mississippi Case Number: 13-14506-JDW
Our firm has been retained to seek a sale of the business or assets of Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc. From its humble founding in Chicago 130 years ago, to its prominent position in the national market today, Sanderson continues to manufacture quality toilet seating products for home, commercial, airline and even space shuttle bathrooms. The company’s history began with the founding of Findeisen-Kropf in 1883. It changed hands in the early 1900’s when Henry Beneke, Sr. purchased the business. In 1954, Beneke, as the company was then named, developed a process for molding wood seats out of sawdust by combining the once discarded wood waste with resin under intense heat and pressure. The new product was trademarked as “Tuffy” and has an enviable reputation in the market. At the same time, the company entered plastic manufacturing, which was new to the industry. Beneke also pioneered the manufacture and marketplace introduction of the soft vinyl toilet seat in 1976. Today, manufacturers, including Sanderson, still produce the “woodflour”, plastic and vinyl seats, albeit with far more modern equipment than utilized 60 years ago.
Sanderson still sells the Tuffy brand into the plumbing wholesale market, under the Beneke logo and into the retail market (through mass merchant chains) under the Magnolia line. Housed primarily in their 360,000 sq. ft. building on 30 acres in Columbus, MS, Sanderson employs more than 250 employees. The main building was built in the 1940’s, with substantial additions and improvements made throughout its lifetime. Both woodflour and plastic injection molding operations produce high quality products independently of each other under one roof. The main woodflour line can produce 12,000 toilet seats in an 8 hour day, and the injection molding equipment can produce 6,000 seats in a 24 hour day, and plastic seats don’t require any secondary operations. The woodflour product goes through several secondary finishing and assembly steps, including electrostatic finishing and drying. The company leases a nearby 200,000 sq. ft. warehouse for its finished goods and for imported product (approximately 50% of 2013 revenue was distribution of imported product). A second company-owned, woodflour production facility is located in Butler, Alabama in a 25,000 sq. ft., ten year old building.
In 2009, Sanderson generated net sales of almost $50 million with EBITDA of over $5.3 million. The depressed national economy became a major factor for Sanderson beginning in 2008, when the trickle-down effect of the national recession resulted in shrinking annual revenues. By 2012, Sanderson’s sales had receded to $29 million.
In addition to all the machinery and equipment necessary to manufacture Sanderson’s products, the company has a variety of U.S.-based and internationally-based design and utility patents that describe inventions that they have created. Most are design patents, which cover inventions of ornamental design for functional items in the plumbing industry. Sanderson also has several utility patents on plumbing implements, connectors and brackets.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an established manufacturing company with a deep history and/or its substantial manufacturing capacity. The strong, cost efficient workforce is eager to continue their employment. There is a significant opportunity to, not only expand the company’s current market share, but also utilize their excess injection molding and woodflour molding equipment