By Anthony Brass
Ambassador Supply recently announced the purchase of Astro Buildings. The move marks the investment, management and holding company’s third acquisition of a post-frame builder.
Astro Buildings creates residential and commercial barns and buildings, agricultural shops, garages, cabins and storage facilities. The Omaha-based company serves several states. They join Hixwood Metal, QSI (Quality Structures), Pioneer Truss, Trusco and others within the Ambassador family.
Ambassador said Astro has the reputation within the industry they want and that their process is proven.
“It’s a great brand, with really great people,” said Brad Crawford, Ambassador Supply CEO. “It [Astro] has been around, with a lot of really satisfied customers. We’re looking to invest further and grow the brand.”
The expansion is right for Ambassador for geographical reasons. Hixwood sits in Wisconsin to the north, QSI to the south in Kansas, and now Astro, the latest addition to their group, along the Iowa-Nebraska border.
“This starts to close that gap in a really good agricultural market for us,” Crawford said.
Astro Buildings has a similar model as their now-sister company, QSI, which sits a couple hundred miles away. In 2019, Ambassador purchased QSI, their second post-frame acquisition. The proximity between the two allows a working collaboration.
“We’ll have some operational synergies between the two from an iron-sharpening, ‘iron-type’ of perspective,” Crawford says.
They feel bringing on Astro aligns really well with QSI. “It’s a direct consumer model, where we manage labor as well as provide material,” Crawford said. He adds there will be a lot of opportunities to learn the best practices between the two companies, such as bulk-buying, as they are only four hours apart.
Ambassador believes in a diversified approach, bringing on several different companies.
“We’re going for a balanced mix, between residential, commercial and post-frame or rural,” Crawford said of their portfolio.
Ambassador Supply started in the industry a decade ago with a post-frame purchase in Ohio, so they know the importance of these companies. “We think post-frame is going to be around for a long time. You can build a lot of different types of products,” Crawford said. “It allows a lot of flexibility in its offerings and it’s low-cost.”
Their company doesn’t believe in a buy-flip strategy, and the Astro acquisition is no different.
“We’re a buy-and-hold; we have a 100-year vision. We’re looking to build off of Astro’s legacy.”
Ambassador is looking to continue to expand within the post-frame market.
“We are working with really good builders out there, to try to drive and provide value within the marketplace.”
The integration of the acquisition will take three to six months to fully complete. FBN