The New Era of Roofing: How Private Equity is Shaping the Industry

Ryan Holliday
Ryan Holliday
Oct 16, 2023

If you own a roofing company, you probably receive weekly emails from private equity (PE) firms that want to buy your business. But why are you getting these emails? Are they scams? Are they legit? What happens if you sell your business?

These are all common questions weighing on the minds of roofers right now because the roofing industry is undergoing a significant transition. PE firms, known for their strategic investments in various industries, have set their sights on roofing companies.

What does this mean for roofers, and why should they be paying attention?

What’s Happening?

Private equity investments in the roofing industry have been on the rise in recent years. This isn’t surprising since research company IBISWorld valued the roofing industry at $57 billion dollars in 2022, and predicts it’ll approach $90 billion by 2031. So, with its steady demand and potential for growth, the industry has attracted significant attention from PE firms looking for lucrative investment opportunities.

In the past, they’ve had great success in the home services space. Private equity firms started investing with commercial landscaping. Since then, they’ve seen success in the waterproofing, HVAC, and plumbing spaces. So the next logical step is roofing.

The roofing industry has recently seen:

  • Increased PE Activity
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • A Focus on Technology and Innovation

Why Roofers Should Pay Attention to PE Investments in the Roofing Industry

The influx of PE investments in the roofing industry is not just a fleeting trend; it's a transformative shift that every roofer should be aware of.

It gives you the opportunity for early retirement and increases financial security.

Building a successful roofing business now can lead to significant buyout opportunities in the future. PE firms are on the lookout for well-run, profitable roofing companies to invest in. If you've built a solid business with a good reputation, you could find yourself with an offer that provides financial security and the chance for early retirement.

There’s power in collaboration.

The industry is becoming increasingly competitive. So partnering with other companies can be a good strategic move. Collaboration typically leads to shared resources, combined expertise, and a broader customer base, all of which can strengthen your market position.

There’s an increasing threat of market consolidation.

As PE firms invest in and consolidate roofing companies, there's a risk that smaller, independent roofers will be overshadowed by larger conglomerates. These conglomerates can offer lower prices, have broader service areas, and invest more in marketing, making it challenging for smaller companies to compete.

As noted by League Park Advisors: The roofing industry remains highly fragmented, comprising of numerous small and medium-sized businesses. This fragmentation presents a prime opportunity for private equity firms to consolidate the market, leveraging operational efficiencies and strategic acquisitions to create value.

League Park Advisors went on to note: Even with the rise in roofing acquisitions, the largest 15 roofing companies nationwide represent less than 5% of industry sales, signaling substantial room for consolidation.

The Future Of the Roofing Industry

The roofing industry, like many other sectors, is poised for significant changes in the coming years. Here are some of my insights that shed light on the potential future landscape of the industry.

The Shift to Fewer, Larger Players

Over the next decade, as private equity firms continue to invest and acquire roofing companies, the U.S. market will consolidate to just a dozen or two major roofing companies. This consolidation will lead to fewer but larger entities dominating the market, offering a wide range of services and covering vast geographical areas.

The Digital Transformation of Roofing

The future of roofing is likely to see a shift toward online shopping experiences. Customers will be able to request services, get quotes, schedule appointments, and even make payments through digital platforms. This move will offer convenience to customers and efficiency to roofing companies.

PE-backed Companies Will Lead the Digital Shift

Private equity-backed roofing companies, with their resources and strategic expertise, are expected to lead this digital transformation. Their approach will mirror that of other major corporations that have successfully transitioned to digital-centric business models. These companies will invest in technology, digital marketing, and customer service platforms to offer a seamless online experience for their clients.

Should small roofing companies adapt?

In the dynamic world of business, change is the only constant. For the roofing industry, the rapid shifts brought about by private equity investments and digital transformations present both challenges and opportunities. For small roofing companies, these changes are not just trends to observe from the sidelines; they are realities that demand immediate attention and adaptation.

The Challenges Small Roofing Companies Are Facing

Small roofing companies, with their localized operations and limited resources, might feel the heat of these industry changes more acutely. The looming shadow of large, PE-backed conglomerates and the digital wave can seem daunting. However, it's essential to view these changes not as threats, but as catalysts for evolution.