Friday, May 3, 2019

KBS Builders, former Keiser Homes acquired by Digirad Corporation

Digirad Corporation, which designs, manufactures and distributes diagnostic medical imaging products, has purchased KBS Modular Builders, Inc. properties in Pairs and Waterford, Maine and the former Keiser Modular Homes plant in Oxford, Maine.

KBS production line

The deal is expected to make the Paris-based KBS Builders Inc., with territorial protection of 150 miles to the closest modular producing plant, as well as more modular home building capacity, according to Matt Mosher, general manager of KBS Builders, Inc.

The action comes two years after Keiser Homes in Oxford, a modular home builder then operating under Excel Homes of Maine, unexpectedly shut its doors in May 2016, putting more than 120 employees out of work. It also comes more than a year after a “for sale” sign was put up on the KBS Waterford plant, at 61,850 square-foot manufacturing plant located at 947 Waterford Road in Waterford.

The three manufacturing plants, with a combined footprint of more than 200,000 square feet capable of producing more than 1,400 modules a year.

Two questions immediately come to mind.

First, this is not an acquisition by a company with what appears any knowledge of East Coast modular housing. With today’s shortage of upper management talent already a problem for our industry, who are the people about to operate 3 modular home factories, veterans or newbies to the industry?

Secondly, the announcement they will ship and probably dominate a 150 mile shipping radius from their factories allows them access to the Boston market. Will we see a shift in their production from single family homes to commercial and affordable housing or will they continue to build individual homes?

Let’s hope this is the opening shot of reinvigorating a modular home industry that compared to other regions of the country has been sluggish.

My money is on them bringing in new ideas, new people and innovations.


JC said...

Positive Spin:
In the northeast, home to the best custom modular factories in the nation, the secret sauce is more likely information and data transfer than it is deep committment to "old ways". Digirad may not have much experience in traditional modular delviery but they have demonstrated an ability to understand and successfully compete in an equally challenging market - medical innovation. We can only hope they bring their financing and management insights to KBS and likewise, KBS has the wisdom to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hate to be a pessimist but the industry has been plagued with shut downs and failed acquisitions. People start to get disenchanted with the process.