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See Note 1 for a description of the Basis of Presentation of the consolidated financial statements.Represents basic and diluted earnings per share of Class A common stock and weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding for the three months ended October 31, 2021 and the period from July 23, 2021 through October 31, 2021, which is the period following the Reorganization Transactions described in Note 1. The Company analyzed the calculation of earnings per share for the periods prior to the Reorganization Transactions and determined that it resulted in values that would not be meaningful to the users of the condensed consolidated financial statements. 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Table of Contents
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 3, 2022
Registration
No. 333-            
 
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM
S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER THE
SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
 
 
Core & Main, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
 
 
 
Delaware
 
5099
 
86-3149194
(State or Other Jurisdiction
of Incorporation or Organization)
 
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
1830 Craig Park Court
St. Louis, Missouri 63146
(314)
432-4700
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
 
 
Stephen O. LeClair
Chief Executive Officer
Core & Main, Inc.
1830 Craig Park Court
St. Louis, Missouri 63146
(314)
432-4700
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
 
 
Copies to:
 
Paul M. Rodel, Esq.
Nicholas P. Pellicani, Esq.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
919 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10022
(212)
909-6000
 
Andrew J. Pitts, Esq.
C. Daniel Haaren, Esq.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York 10019
(212)
474-1000
 
 
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box.  
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer  
   Accelerated filer  
       
Non-accelerated filer
 
   Smaller reporting company  
       
         Emerging growth company  
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  
 
 
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
 
 
 
Title of Each Class of
Securities to be Registered
 
Amount
to be
Registered(1)
 
Proposed
Maximum
Offering Price
per Share(2)
 
Proposed Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price(1)(2)
 
Amount of
Registration Fee
Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share
 
23,000,000
 
$29.60
 
$680,800,000
 
$63,110.16
 
 
(1)
Includes the shares/aggregate offering price of shares of Class A common stock subject to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares from the selling stockholders.
(2)
Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, based on the average high and low prices of the registrant’s Class A common stock on December 28, 2021, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
 
 
 

Table of Contents
The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declares our registration statement effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any state or jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
 
PROSPECTUS
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 3, 2022
20,000,000 Shares
 
 
Core & Main, Inc.
Class A Common Stock
 
 
The selling stockholders identified in this prospectus are offering 20,000,000 shares of Class A common stock of Core & Main, Inc. (“Core & Main”). We will not receive any of the proceeds of the sale of Class A common stock being sold in this offering, including any shares the selling stockholders may sell pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock.
Our Class A common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “CNM”. The last reported sale price of our Class A common stock on December 31, 2021 was
$30.34 per share.
We have two classes of common stock outstanding: Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Each share of Class A common stock and Class B common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all matters presented to our stockholders generally. Shares of Class B common stock have no economic rights. The Continuing Limited Partners (as defined herein) hold all of our Class B common stock, and such ownership entitles them, subject to the terms of the Exchange Agreement, to exchange their shares of our Class B common stock, together with the exchange of a corresponding number of Partnership Interests, for shares of our Class A common stock on a
one-for-one
basis or, at the election of a majority of the disinterested members of our board of directors, for cash from a substantially concurrent public offering or private sale (based on the price of our Class A common stock sold in such public offering or private sale), net of any underwriting discounts and commissions. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Exchange Agreement” and “Description of Capital Stock.” Core & Main is a holding company and the general partner of Core & Main Holdings, LP (“Holdings”), and our sole material asset is a controlling direct and indirect ownership interest in Holdings. As we have a majority economic interest in Holdings and because we are the general partner of Holdings, we operate and control all of the business and affairs of Holdings and, through Holdings and its subsidiaries, including Core & Main LP, a Florida limited partnership (“Opco”), conduct our business. See “Organizational Structure.”
After the completion of this offering, the CD&R Investors (as defined herein) will beneficially own shares of our common stock representing approximately 69.9% of the combined voting power of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock (or 68.6% if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock). As a result, we expect to continue to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the corporate governance standards of the NYSE. See “Management—Corporate Governance—Controlled Company” and “Principal and Selling Stockholders.” After the completion of this offering, pursuant to the Stockholders Agreement (as defined herein), the CD&R Investors will continue to have the right to designate for nomination for election to our board of directors at least a majority of our directors as long as the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) collectively beneficially own shares of our common stock and our other equity securities representing at least 50% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock and our other equity securities. The CD&R Investors will continue to have the right to designate proportionately fewer director nominees as their total voting power decreases until the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) collectively beneficially own shares of our common stock and our other equity securities representing less than 5% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock and our other equity securities. Moreover, the CD&R Investors will continue to have the right to designate the Chair of our board of directors as long as the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) collectively beneficially own shares of our common stock and our other equity securities representing at least 25% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock and our other equity securities. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Stockholders Agreement.”
 
 
 
 
  
Per Share
 
  
Total
 
Public offering price
  
$
         
  
$
         
Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)
  
$
 
 
  
$
 
 
Proceeds, before expenses, to the selling stockholders
  
$
 
 
  
$
 
 
 
 
Investing in our Class A common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 31 of this prospectus.
 
 
 
(1)
See “Underwriting” for a description of the compensation payable to the underwriters.
The underwriters also may purchase up to 3,000,000 additional shares of Class A common stock from the selling stockholders at the public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions within 30 days from the date of this prospectus.
Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved the securities described herein or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The underwriters expect to deliver the shares of Class A common stock to purchasers on or about                     , 2022.
Joint Book-Running Managers
 
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
 
Credit Suisse
 
J.P. Morgan
 
 
Prospectus dated                     , 2022

Table of Contents
 

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F-1
 
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus and any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered to you. We have not, and the selling stockholders and the underwriters have not, authorized anyone to provide you with information different from, or in addition to, that contained in this prospectus and any related free writing prospectus. We, the selling stockholders and the underwriters take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurances as to the reliability of, any information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the shares offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus is only accurate as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus and any sale of shares of our Class A common stock.
 
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BASIS OF PRESENTATION
As used in this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references to “we,” “us,” “our,” “the Company” and similar references refer to Core & Main, Inc. and, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, all of its consolidated subsidiaries, including Core & Main Holdings, LP and its consolidated subsidiaries. We also refer to Core & Main, Inc. as “Core & Main,” to Core & Main Holdings, LP as “Holdings” and to Core & Main LP as “Opco.”
We are a holding company and the general partner of Holdings. Our sole material asset is our direct and indirect ownership interest in Holdings, a portion of which is held indirectly through CD&R WW, LLC. Holdings has no operations and no material assets of its own other than its indirect ownership interest in Core & Main LP, a Florida limited partnership, the legal entity that conducts the operations of Core & Main. Because Core & Main is the general partner of Holdings, it operates and controls all of the business and affairs of Holdings and, through Holdings and its subsidiaries, conducts our business. Accordingly, the condensed consolidated financial information of Core & Main includes the consolidated financial information of Holdings and its subsidiaries. The ownership interest of the Continuing Limited Partners (as defined below) related to Partnership Interests (as defined below) held by the Continuing Limited Partners is reflected as
non-controlling
interests in Core & Main’s condensed consolidated financial statements. As the Reorganization Transactions (as defined below) are accounted for as transactions between entities under common control, the financial statements for the periods prior to our initial public offering of Class A common stock on July 27, 2021, in which we issued and sold 34,883,721 shares of our Class A common stock at an initial public offer price of $20.00 per share, and Reorganization Transactions combine previously separate entities for presentation purposes. These entities include Core & Main, Holdings and its consolidated subsidiaries and the Blocker Companies (as defined below). Prior to the Reorganization Transactions, Core & Main had no operations. Prior to the Reorganization Transactions, there was no net income attributable to Core & Main.
Our fiscal year is a
52-
or
53-week
period ending on the Sunday nearest to January 31st. The fiscal years ended January 31, 2021 (“fiscal 2020”) and February 2, 2020 (“fiscal 2019”) included 52 weeks. The fiscal year ended February 3, 2019 (“fiscal 2018”) included a 53rd week. The next fiscal year ending January 30, 2022 (“fiscal 2021”) and the following fiscal year ending January 29, 2023 (“fiscal 2022”) will each include 52 weeks. Quarters within the fiscal year include
13-week
periods unless a fiscal year includes a 53rd week, in which case the fourth quarter of the fiscal year will be a
14-week
period. Both the three months ended October 31, 2021 and three months ended November 1, 2020 included 13 weeks and both the nine months ended October 31, 2021 and the nine months ended November 2, 2020 included 39 weeks.
On August 1, 2017, Opco was acquired by certain investment funds (“CD&R Funds”) affiliated with or managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC (“CD&R”) from HD Supply, Inc. (“HD Supply”) through a merger transaction (the “Merger”). On August 5, 2019, affiliates of CD&R formed Holdings as well as Core & Main Midco, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Midco”), and Core & Main Intermediate GP, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Opco GP”), each a subsidiary of Holdings. Following certain reorganization transactions, affiliates of CD&R and Core & Main Management Feeder, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Management Feeder”), transferred their partnership interests in Opco to Midco and Opco GP in exchange for partnership interests in Holdings. As a result, Holdings is the indirect parent company of Opco.
Unless otherwise indicated, all operational data included in this prospectus is as of January 31, 2021 and does not reflect changes to such data since such date.
Numerical figures included in this prospectus may have been subject to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in various tables may not be arithmetic aggregations of the figures that precede them.
 
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MARKET SHARE, RANKING AND SIMILAR INFORMATION
The market share, ranking and other information contained in this prospectus is based on our own estimates, independent industry publications, reports by market research firms, including confidential third-party commissioned studies, or other published and unpublished independent sources. In each case, we believe that they are reasonable estimates, although neither we nor the underwriters have independently verified market and industry data provided by third parties. Market share information is subject to change, however, and cannot always be verified with complete certainty due to limits on the availability and reliability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data-gathering process and other limitations and uncertainties inherent in any statistical survey of market share. In addition, customer preferences can and do change, and the definition of the relevant market is a matter of judgment and analysis. As a result, you should be aware that market share, ranking and other similar information set forth in this prospectus, and estimates and beliefs based on such data, may not be reliable.
TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS
We own or have rights to trademarks or service marks that we use in conjunction with the operation of our business. Our service marks and trademarks include our name, logos, registered domain names and certain other marks. Each trademark, trade name or service mark of any other company appearing in this prospectus belongs to its holder, and we do not intend our use or display of such names or marks to imply relationships with, or endorsements of us by, any other company. For convenience, the trademarks and service marks referred to in this prospectus are listed without the
®
, TM and SM symbols, but we intend to assert, and notify others of, our rights in and to these trademarks and service marks to the fullest extent under applicable law.
CERTAIN TERMS USED IN THIS PROSPECTUS
 
   
“Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement” means the Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Holdings;
 
   
“Blocker Companies” means, collectively, CD&R WW Advisor, LLC and CD&R WW Holdings, LLC;
 
   
“CD&R” means Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC;
 
   
“CD&R Funds” means certain funds affiliated with or managed by CD&R, including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P.;
 
   
“CD&R Investors” means CD&R Waterworks Holdings (or a wholly-owned subsidiary) and the Former Limited Partners;
 
   
“CD&R Waterworks Holdings” means CD&R Waterworks Holdings, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership;
 
   
“Continuing Limited Partners” means CD&R Waterworks Holdings (or a wholly-owned subsidiary) and Management Feeder, the Original Limited Partners that own Partnership Interests and that are entitled to exchange their Partnership Interests for shares of our Class A common stock as described in “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of Holdings” and “—Exchange Agreement,” and does not include CD&R WW, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company which is a limited partner of Holdings but which does not own any of our Class B common stock and is not entitled to exchange Partnership Interests for shares of our Class A common stock;
 
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“Core & Main” means Core & Main, Inc., a Delaware corporation and the issuer of the Class A common stock offered hereby;
 
   
“Exchange Agreement” means the Exchange Agreement, dated as of July 22, 2021, by and among Core & Main, Holdings and the holders of Partnership Interests, as amended by the Amendment to the Exchange Agreement, dated as of January 3, 2022;
 
   
“Former Limited Partners” means CD&R Fund X Advisor Waterworks B, L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership, CD&R Fund X Waterworks B1, L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership, CD&R Fund
X-A
Waterworks B, L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership, and the other Original Limited Partners that transferred all or a portion of their Partnership Interests (including Partnership Interests held indirectly through certain “blocker” corporations) for shares of our Class A common stock in connection with the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO;
 
   
“Holdings” means Core & Main Holdings, LP, a Delaware limited partnership;
 
   
“IPO” means our initial public offering of 34,883,721 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $20.00 per share, which closed on July 27, 2021;
 
   
“Management Feeder” means Core & Main Management Feeder, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company;
 
   
“Midco” means Core & Main Midco, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company;
 
   
“Opco” means Core & Main LP, a Florida limited partnership;
 
   
“Opco GP” means Core & Main Intermediate GP, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company;
 
   
“Original Limited Partners” means the CD&R Investors and Management Feeder, the direct and indirect owners of Holdings prior to the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO;
 
   
“Partnership Interests” means the limited partner interests of Holdings; and
 
   
“we,” “us,” “our” and “the Company” mean Core & Main and, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, all of its consolidated subsidiaries, including Holdings and its consolidated subsidiaries.
 
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
The following summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. Because this is only a summary, it does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our Class A common stock. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, including the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information,” as well as our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision.
Our Company
We are a leading specialized distributor of water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection products, and related services, to municipalities, private water companies and professional contractors across municipal,
non-residential
and residential end markets nationwide. Our specialty products and services are used in the maintenance, repair, replacement and construction of water and fire protection infrastructure. We are one of only two national distributors operating across large and highly fragmented markets, which we estimate to represent approximately $27 billion in annual spend.
Through our network of approximately 300 branch locations in 48 states and approximately 170 metropolitan statistical areas (“MSAs”) across the U.S. as of October 31, 2021, we serve as a critical link between over 4,500 suppliers and a diverse and long-standing base of over 60,000 customers. Given our scale, technical expertise and the specialized and critical nature of the products we distribute, we believe we have been, and will continue to be, well-positioned to drive the adoption of new technologies that enhance the way water is managed, distributed and used. We believe that our sales reach, technical knowledge, broad product portfolio, customer service, project planning and delivery capabilities, and ability to provide local expertise nationwide, make us a critical partner to both our customers and suppliers. We are well-positioned to benefit from industry trends in our end markets, including infrastructure spending to repair and upgrade existing aged infrastructure or to advance water conservation.
Our company and our people are committed to the provision of safe and sustainable water infrastructure throughout the U.S. Our mission is to serve as an industry leader supplying local expertise, products and services to build innovative water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection solutions for the communities we serve. The best solutions for distributing and conserving water vary by climate, geography, local regulation and engineering specifications. Similarly, in water infrastructure, one size does not fit all, which is why we strive to offer customers local expertise supported by a nationwide network of resources. We support our customers and their communities in their efforts to find both short- and long-term solutions to conserve water and manage consumption. We embrace our responsibility in contributing to the continued evolution of our industry over the long term, developing future leaders, providing innovative technology solutions and giving visibility to the critical importance of sustainable water infrastructure and fire safety systems.
In August 2017, we were acquired by CD&R from HD Supply and subsequently rebranded as Core & Main. Following our separation from HD Supply, we surveyed our best resource, our associates, to find a new name for our organization. “Core” represents both our core values and our focus on maintaining the core of our nation’s infrastructure. “Main” stems from our presence in local markets where we maintain the main water lines on every town’s Main Street as well as from our position as the main supplier that our customers can count on. In serving our communities, we live at
 
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the intersection of Core & Main. Since the separation, we have seized various opportunities to better realize our growth potential, delivering net sales growth at a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 13.4% from fiscal 2017 to the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2021, with organic growth contributing over
two-thirds
of such growth. We have accelerated our fusible pipe and smart metering initiatives, opened eleven new greenfield locations, improved our strategic planning capabilities and built out a dedicated mergers and acquisitions team. Since fiscal 2017, we have successfully completed 16 acquisitions, including two of the largest acquisitions in our company’s history: Long Island Pipe Supply Inc. (“LIP”) in July 2019 and R&B Co. (“R&B”) in March 2020.
For fiscal 2020, we reported net sales, net income and Adjusted EBITDA of $3,642.3 million, $37.3 million and $342.3 million, respectively. For the nine months ended October 31, 2021, we reported net sales, net income, net income attributable to Core & Main, Inc. and Adjusted EBITDA of $3,757.5 million, $146.2 million, $118.3 million and $453.4 million, respectively. For a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income or net income attributable to Core & Main, Inc., the most comparable GAAP financial metric, as applicable, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations—Non-GAAP
Financial Measures.” As of October 31, 2021, we had total consolidated indebtedness of $1,496.3 million and $183.3 million in outstanding lease commitments. In addition, as of October 31, 2021, after giving effect to $9.0 million of letters of credit issued under the Senior ABL Credit Facility (as defined herein), Opco would have been able to borrow $841.0 million under the Senior ABL Credit Facility.
Customers, Suppliers and Products
Our customers choose us for our breadth of products, extensive industry knowledge, familiarity with local specifications, convenient branch locations and timely and reliable delivery. We utilize our deep supply chain relationships to provide customers with a
“one-stop-shop”
experience and customized support in their efforts to maintain and construct water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection systems. Our geographic footprint allows us to serve both smaller, local customers and larger, national customers with relevant expertise and the right inventory on hand. Our local sales associates take a consultative approach, using knowledge of the local regulatory requirements and specifications to provide customer-specific product and service solutions. We are often deeply involved in our customers’ planning processes, and we believe our ability to support our customers by converting engineered drawings and specifications into accurate and comprehensive material project plans (“take-offs”) gives us a significant competitive advantage. For specific smart metering, treatment plant and fusible pipe solutions, our sales associates partner with our dedicated team of nearly 175 national and regional product specialists to assist customers in project scoping and specialized product selection. Our technical knowledge and experience are complemented by our proprietary customer-facing digital technology tools. Our PowerScope bidding platform and Online Advantage and Mobile Advantage customer portals enable us to work closely and efficiently with our customers in material management, timely inventory purchasing, quoting and coordinated jobsite delivery. We believe our customer-facing technology tools build customer loyalty and drive repeat business, and also create a competitive advantage versus smaller competitors who may not have the scale or resources to provide similar technology or services.
We have a fragmented customer base that consists of over 60,000 customers. Our top 50 customers represented approximately 10% of net sales for fiscal 2020, with our largest customer accounting for less than 1% of net sales. We have long-tenured relationships with our customers, as approximately 84% of our net sales for fiscal 2020 were to customer accounts that purchased products from us in each of the last five years, and we expect to continue to derive a significant portion of our
 
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net sales from our existing customers in the future. Our ability to serve as a
“one-stop-shop”
for the wide array of customer needs represents a differentiated value proposition compared to smaller competitors, who may not have the product breadth, specialization, local and industry expertise or technical service capabilities to match our comprehensive product and service offering. We also have a specialized team focused on serving strategic accounts, which include large private water companies and national contractors. We believe that we are better positioned than our competitors to serve these national customers on larger projects requiring dedicated sales personnel, greater technical expertise and more complex or specialized procurement needs.
We have a diverse base of suppliers who view us as integral partners. We have strong relationships with our suppliers due to our long history in the industry, substantial purchasing scale, national footprint and ability to reach a fragmented customer base. We believe we are the largest volume customer for many of our suppliers, leading to favorable purchasing arrangements regarding product availability, payment terms and pricing. Our scale also enables us to secure exclusive or restrictive distribution rights in key product categories and to provide key products to customers that are unavailable to our competitors. We believe that our size and scale, supplier relationships and technical knowledge of products and local specifications enable us to obtain preferred access to specialized products and preferred access to products during periods of material shortages or when shorter-than-usual lead times are required for certain projects. This provides us with a significant competitive advantage versus smaller competitors, particularly for large and complex projects. Our largest single supplier represented 9% of product expenditures for fiscal 2020, and our top ten suppliers represented 42% of total product expenditures during the same period. In the future, we will seek to maintain a diverse base of suppliers, and we do not expect that our historical supplier concentration trends will materially change. We strategically conduct business with our top suppliers in order to optimize our scale advantages, but we also have the flexibility to source the majority of our products from a number of alternate suppliers when necessary.
 
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We offer a comprehensive portfolio of approximately 200,000 stock keeping units (“SKUs”) covering a full spectrum of specialized products. The table below outlines our key products and their percentage of net sales in fiscal 2020:
 
   
Percent of
  Fiscal 2020  
Net Sales
  
Applications
  
Representative Products
Pipes,
Valves &
Fittings
 
65%
  
Used in the distribution, flow control and service and repair of underground water, wastewater and reclaimed water transmission networks.
 
Includes pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings and other complementary products and services. Pipe materials include PVC, ductile iron, high-density polyethylene (“HDPE”), steel and copper tubing.
  
 
       
Storm
Drainage
 
14%
  
Used in the construction of storm water and erosion control management systems.
 
Includes corrugated piping systems, retention basins, manholes, grates and other related products.
  
 
       
Fire
Protection
  11%   
Serves fire protection installers in the commercial, industrial and residential construction markets.
 
Includes fire protection pipe, sprinkler heads and devices as well as custom fabrication services.
  
 
       
Meters
 
10%
  
Used for water volume measurement and regulation.
 
Includes smart meter products, installation, software and other services.
  
 
Footprint, Operations and Talent
We operate a branch-based business model consisting of approximately 300 branches, as of October 31, 2021, that are strategically located near our customers, and we have approximately 3,700 total associates. At the local level, each branch aims to carry a range of product lines, brands and inventory levels suited to specifications and customer preferences. Our local presence allows our branch managers and team of sales representatives to provide a consultative sales approach and value-added services tailored to local needs and specifications and to respond to both immediate and longer-term project needs.
Our specialized fleet of equipment allows us to deliver materials to our customers’ worksites in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We operate approximately 850 delivery trucks and approximately 350 trailers. Our fleet, in conjunction with our branch network, enables us to coordinate the logistics of jobsite delivery and provide reliable, consistent support to our customers.
 
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We have a large and experienced team of approximately 1,700 sales and field management personnel. This includes our district and branch managers, regional vice presidents who manage multi-state territories and approximately 500 field sales representatives who operate within local territories and have strong relationships with individual customers. Our associates actively participate in, and often lead, industry trade associations, which contribute to industry best practices for quality, ethics and safety at the state, regional and national levels. These groups help educate our industry, legislators and the public by raising awareness of our nation’s water infrastructure needs, which helps drive investment in water infrastructure necessary to address the growing infrastructure gap.
Our management approach and compensation structure foster an entrepreneurial culture in which managers have significant autonomy to run their branches based on local conditions, and associates are rewarded for achieving growth and profitability. As a result, we believe that we are able to recruit and retain some of the industry’s best managers and sales representatives, who have extensive experience and are focused on customer service and achieving strong financial results. Our incentive plans are closely tied to overall financial performance and working capital optimization, balancing growth, profitability and investment at our local branches.
The map below shows our branch locations as of October 31, 2021, illustrating our strategic footprint across the U.S.:
 
 
Commitment to ESG
Our business strategy and operations align with our goal of providing safe and sustainable infrastructure for generations to come. Our focus on Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”) matters is foundational to who we are as a company. Preserving the earth’s most valuable resource and providing clean and safe water to our communities are at the core of what we do. Our products and services are integral to building, repairing and maintaining the essential infrastructure of water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection systems. Water is a finite resource, and community water supply challenges, including natural flooding, contamination and drought, continue to increase in severity. We partner with our customers to help ensure water resources and facilities are available to meet each local community’s short- and long-term needs. Our water and wastewater products help
 
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preserve and conserve water and prevent wastewater spillage and flooding that can cause devastating problems and reduce local quality of life. In addition, our fire protection products save lives and are critical to the health and safety of our communities.
Our success is built on relationships of trust, and acting with honesty and integrity in each choice we make is one of our core values. We invest in the development, well-being and safety of our people, which is a priority across all of our operations. We offer training and development to the industry by inviting our suppliers, customers and associates to both teach and learn virtually, in our classrooms and at our branches. We are committed to developing a diverse talent pipeline and preparing our associates for a bright future in our industry. Through our award-winning training programs, we focus on developing extraordinary leaders at all levels to position our associates for success. As industry leaders, we are committed to driving social change in our business by empowering women through our internally developed Women’s Network, which supports the development and growth of women in our industry. We have expanded our diversity and inclusion initiatives to access more diverse talent and established our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Advisory Council to provide our company with new perspectives and enhance business decision-making. We have developed a dedicated veterans hiring initiative, as we believe their leadership experience, commitment and problem-solving skills are critical to our success as an organization. We believe that our focus on ESG matters improves our ability to attract top talent to our organization and drive employee engagement, which becomes a competitive advantage.
We prioritize the safeguarding of our communities at large. In 2019, we established the Core & Main Caring Fund to provide financial assistance to associates facing significant hardship during a crisis. Each of our approximately 300 branches as of October 31, 2021 is empowered to decide how best to support their local communities—from food banks and scholarships to local fundraisers, our teams spend their local funds where they will have the greatest impact. Our associates are able to make individual contributions through automated payroll deductions that support some of those same organizations.
In 2020, we released our inaugural ESG Report, an important step in demonstrating and communicating our commitment to ESG. Over time, we intend to publish specific goals and targets in accordance with recognized reporting standards. We believe that our focus on ESG matters and sustainability will benefit our business by enhancing our relationship with our associates, our customers, our suppliers and the communities in which we operate.
Our Industry
We believe we have built a leading position in our addressable market for the distribution of water, wastewater, storm drainage, erosion control and fire protection products, and related services, which we estimate to represent approximately $27 billion in annual spend. We estimate that combined net sales by Core & Main and our largest competitor, the only other national distributor in the industry, accounted for approximately 30% of net sales to end users in fiscal 2020. The remainder of the market is served by hundreds of regional, local and specialty niche distributors, as well as, to a smaller degree, sales by manufacturers to end users. Our addressable market includes certain product categories that are underpenetrated, and we have a clear strategy to expand our share in these growing markets.
We believe there is a growing opportunity in our industry for both customers and suppliers to utilize distributors rather than directly sourcing from manufacturers. The role of the specialized
 
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distributor within the value chain is becoming increasingly important as our fragmented customer base demands higher levels of availability across a broad set of products, which are procured from a large number of suppliers. We seek to enhance our value proposition as a distribution partner by offering specialized product selection and project scoping and management, making us an integral part of our customers’ project planning and execution.
We have diversified end market exposure, and we believe there are positive industry trends supporting long-term growth in our markets. Our net sales are driven by activity in three primary construction sectors: (i) municipal;
(ii) non-residential;
and (iii) residential. We believe we are well-positioned to benefit from long-term growth in municipal water infrastructure spending, including future accelerated federal, state and local investments to repair and upgrade existing aged infrastructure or to advance water conservation, especially in response to climate changes and storm-driven containment and drainage issues. We believe we can also capitalize on expected growth in residential and
non-residential
construction activity, both of which remain below long-term historical averages, and are expected to benefit from population growth, the historical under-build of housing versus household formations, historically low interest rates, demographic shifts from the cities to the suburbs and the need for commercial, industrial and other
non-residential
structures to support that residential growth.
Our business is well-balanced between repair and replacement and new construction projects, as shown in the charts below for fiscal 2020. Our repair and replacement revenues have come to represent a large portion of our business as the U.S.’s water infrastructure has aged and municipalities have become increasingly focused on water conservation.
 
Estimated End Market Mix
  
Estimated Repair & Replace vs. New Construction
  
Municipal
We estimate that approximately 45% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were to contractors and municipalities for municipal projects, including the repair, replacement, upgrade and construction of water and wastewater supply, filtration, storage and distribution systems. Municipalities establish local product specifications, and given our extensive geographic footprint, we believe we are best equipped to anticipate and serve local needs as well as large private underground utility contractors who require national reach and an extensive product offering.
Municipal demand has exhibited steady growth over the long term due to the consistent and immediate need to replace aged or broken water infrastructure. However, due to limited available funding, the pace of investment has significantly lagged the need to upgrade water systems throughout the U.S. and has resulted in significant underinvestment in water supply, water safety and wastewater management. The average age of water and wastewater pipes in 2020 was 45 years, up 20 years from
 
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1970.
1
More than 600 municipalities still use
200-year
old cast iron pipe systems,
2
and there are approximately 300,000 waterline breaks every year, representing the equivalent of a water line break every two minutes.
3
Significant investment is needed to close the growing water infrastructure gap: an additional estimated $2.2 trillion will be required for repairs and upgrades over the next 20 years.
4
In November 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”), which includes $55 billion to invest in water infrastructure across the United States. In the coming years, including as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we expect increased federal infrastructure investment to have a core focus on the upgrade, repair and replacement of municipal waterworks systems and to address demographic shifts and serve the growing population. We believe these dynamics create the backdrop for a favorable funding environment and accelerated investment in projects that will benefit our business. Before consideration of any incremental federal investment, we estimate municipal spending on water and wastewater infrastructure projects will grow at low single digit rates through 2024.
Municipal Infrastructure Spend
5

Non-Residential
We estimate that approximately 37% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were directly related to clean water and wastewater infrastructure, storm drainage and fire protection systems supporting U.S.
non-residential
activity, including industrial, commercial, institutional, warehouse and multi-family development projects. Our products are often installed while breaking ground on new lot development during the initial construction phase, though some products, like storm drainage, are used during both new construction and repair and replace activities. Our fire protection products are typically installed at later stages of construction projects compared to most of our products and exhibit less seasonal patterns because they are generally installed indoors and are therefore less impacted by weather conditions. We believe that
non-residential
construction starts combined with
non-residential
construction spending are good indicators of demand for our products and services due to the mix of products we supply to this end market.
 
1
 
Source: Bluefield Research,
Water Industry 4.0 Focus Report
15 (2019).
2
 
Source: Bluefield Research,
A Material Shift in the U.S. Pipe Market
6 (2020).
3
 
Source: Mary Scott Nabers,
2021 Prime for Water Infrastructure Contracting Opportunities
, Water Online (Dec. 16, 2020)
https://www.spartnerships.com/2021-prime-for-water-infrastructure-contracting-opportunities.
4
 
Source: Value of Water Campaign,
The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure
14 (2020).
5
 
Source: U.S. Congressional Budget Office,
Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure
, 1956 to 2017 (2018). All periods after 2017 are based on management estimates and do not reflect the opinions of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
 
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The U.S.
non-residential
construction market had been in a long recovery period until growth slowed in 2020 during the
COVID-19
pandemic. As lockdowns are eased and vaccination levels in the U.S. increase, we expect
non-residential
construction starts to rebound and follow residential building activity. We estimate spend on
non-residential
construction projects to grow at
low-to-mid
single digit rates through 2024.
Non-Residential Starts
6
 
Residential
We estimate that approximately 18% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were directly related to clean water and wastewater infrastructure projects to supply and service U.S. residential activity. Similar to
non-residential
activity, residential spending in our industry is driven by new lot development, with residential single-family housing starts providing an indicator of demand for our products and services.
U.S. residential construction activity accelerated in 2020 and is expected to continue to grow as a result of population growth, low inventory, historically low interest rates and a demographic shift to the suburbs from large cities. Although residential construction starts at the end of 2020 were approximately equal to long-term averages, the historical under-build of housing in the U.S. compared to household formations implies significant
pent-up
demand for continued strong growth going forward. We estimate residential construction starts to grow at low single digit rates through 2024.
 
6
 
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics,
Non-Residential
Construction Starts. Forward-looking data based on management estimates of
non-residential
starts measured by
non-residential
square footage developed.
 
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Residential Starts (Single-Family)
7
 
Our Competitive Strengths
Size and Scale in a Fragmented Market
We are a leading distributor of water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection products, and related services, as measured by net sales with approximately 14% market share in fiscal 2020, and one of only two national distributors in the industry. In fiscal 2020, we sold over 30,000 miles of pipe, a distance equivalent to 12 times the length of the Mississippi River. We have built an expansive geographic footprint in a highly fragmented industry, allowing us to service all 50 states and establish a leading market position in many of the local markets we serve. Our national scale provides valuable geographic diversification that makes us resilient to various regional shocks, including significant weather events, relative to our local and regional competitors, and allows us to cost-effectively further invest in critical capabilities and efficiencies. Our broad and deep industry relationships and expertise, ability to obtain preferred access to product, proprietary information technology and ability to attract top talent are just a few examples of ways we continue to build our value proposition and expand our market share. As investment in our nation’s water infrastructure continues to elevate in focus, we believe these capabilities will make customers and suppliers increasingly rely on us to serve and protect their communities.
Strong Value Proposition and Pivotal Role in Shaping Our Industry
We play a critical role in the supply chain by connecting a large and diverse set of suppliers with a highly fragmented customer base. Our customers benefit from our technical expertise, the quality of our customer service, our purchasing capabilities, our product breadth and availability and the convenience of our branch locations, which allows us to provide consistent and timely delivery. Combined, these capabilities provide advantages relative to smaller, local competitors and allow us to
 
7
 
Source:
Residential Construction Historical Time Series
, United States Census, https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/historical_data/index.html. Forward-looking data based on management estimates of total residential housing units started.
 
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attract business from large, high-quality and multi-regional contractors and municipalities with more complex projects. Our suppliers recognize our value proposition to customers, and we believe they increasingly view us as an integral partner given our understanding of local and regional markets and our ability to extend their sales and geographic reach. This enables us to benefit from more favorable supplier agreements and product availability, as well as opportunities for product line exclusivity and restrictive distribution arrangements. These exclusive and restrictive distribution rights limit new entrants into our industry and provide a significant and sustainable competitive advantage.
We are proud of our industry leadership and embrace this responsibility by advocating for safe water and fire protection infrastructure in our communities, developing industry-leading talent, driving new product adoption and bringing new technologies to our addressable markets. For example, we are driving the acceleration of an important transition in the smart meter market as municipalities increasingly seek to replace dated metering technology and upgrade to smart or automated meters with labor savings and water conservation benefits. Through our CORE+ Smart Utility services, our
turn-key
offering that combines not only project management, installation, hardware and software, but also lifelong meter system management, we enhance utility providers’ monitoring capabilities and efficiency. By bringing technical resources and advanced metering technology to underserved municipalities, we help support their water conservation efforts, ultimately reducing the economic costs of water system failures. We are well-positioned to continue to shape our industry through technological advancements, which further strengthens our relationships with customers and suppliers.
Multiple Levers for Organic Growth
We have a track record of growing faster than our underlying addressable market as our scalable platform provides multiple levers for driving organic growth. We have increased our estimated share of our addressable market from approximately 11% in fiscal 2017 to approximately 14% in fiscal 2020 through our organic growth initiatives and acquisitions. Over the past few years, we have invested in our scalable platform ahead of growth and made investments in additional talent, corporate infrastructure and information systems.
Our significant competitive advantages, customer-centric service and ability to leverage our national network support our ability to expand our customer base and gain share with customers in existing MSAs. We also focus on increasing sales of high-growth, margin-accretive products and partnering with our preferred suppliers to drive the adoption of innovative technologies, like smart-metering. For example, we are driving adoption of fusible products and related services, including fusible HDPE pipe, which we support with fabrication services and fusion equipment sales and rentals.
We have opportunities to expand our presence in underserved geographies through investments in sales talent and greenfield expansion. We utilize a data-driven strategy to identify and evaluate these underserved markets. Accordingly, we have also identified a number of underpenetrated product categories in large and attractive markets, like erosion control, where we can grow and enhance our market share.
Through our strategic accounts program, we directly partner with large national contractors and private water companies, who typically pursue large, complex projects or have specialized procurement needs. Sales through our strategic accounts program represented less than 5% of our fiscal 2020 net sales. We believe that we are well-positioned to grow share due to our dedicated sales team that includes engineers and other experts who can provide significant insights on large, complex projects, including cases in which our customers are asked to design and build new water systems or
 
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wastewater treatment plants. Our partnerships with these customers extend throughout the entire project lifecycle, from the
pre-bidding
design phase to post-project support. We believe our strategic partnerships and national supplier relationships will continue to generate cross-selling opportunities and future business while driving adoption within our distribution model.
Proven Ability to Execute and Integrate Acquisitions
Given the highly fragmented and localized nature of our markets, we maintain a robust pipeline of future acquisition candidates. We believe we are widely viewed as the acquirer of choice given our reputation, culture, scale, ability to effectively integrate acquisitions and experience developing industry-leading talent. We provide robust financial and technical resources, increased product access, stability and a wealth of industry expertise to the businesses we acquire, allowing them to maintain their local presence and entrepreneurial spirit while gaining the support of a nationwide company.
We have a proven track record of using a disciplined approach to identify, execute and integrate acquisitions. Since becoming an independent company in August 2017, we have completed 16 acquisitions, representing approximately $645 million in aggregate historical annual
pre-acquisition
net sales at attractive multiples. Our completed acquisitions strengthened our presence in certain local markets, enhanced our product and private label offerings and added valuable talent. Our acquisition strategy also allows us to strategically expand our product offering of underpenetrated products, such as erosion control and other categories with large and attractive addressable markets, in which we have a significant growth opportunity. Our favorable supply chain relationships and integration strategy allow us to achieve significant synergies through gross margin expansion as well as operational improvements.
Differentiated Service Offerings Enhanced by Proprietary Technology Tools
We believe our service capabilities and operational approach differentiate us from our competition. At the local level, each branch aims to carry a range of product lines, brands and inventory levels tailored to local specifications, regulations and customer preferences to effectively respond to customers’ immediate and long-term project needs. Customers rarely come to our branches with a list of products they need, instead presenting our field personnel with engineered drawings. Our value proposition is derived from our combination of technical expertise, product availability, customer service and planning capabilities. Our associates are specifically trained in project scoping and planning, often performing digital “take-offs” by curating a product list and custom solutions, leveraging our regional and national network of product specialists to find a solution tailored to our customers’ needs.
We complement this knowledge and sales expertise with our proprietary technology platforms that incorporate decades worth of experience from our specialized industry focus and insights into customers’ planning and sourcing needs. Our PowerScope bidding platform and Online Advantage and Mobile Advantage customer portals build customer loyalty by facilitating a more seamless bidding, planning, materials management and delivery experience. Overall, we believe our service capabilities and technology tools are sophisticated, scalable and differentiated from those of our competitors.
Beneficial Industry Trends
We expect to benefit from accelerating municipal and private construction end market demand as investment in water infrastructure and a focus on water conservation increase and the need for new
 
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and upgraded water systems grows with increased residential and
non-residential
construction activity. In March 2021, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion
COVID-19
relief bill, which includes $350 billion of funding for states and local governments. In November 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $55 billion to invest in water infrastructure across the United States. We believe the new investment from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could drive an average of one-to-two percentage points of additional municipal end-market growth each year from 2023 through at least 2027. We believe the funding allocated under the COVID-19 relief bill and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will promote investment in much-needed upgrades and modernization to water infrastructure systems and that we are well-positioned to benefit from any such spending or potential future infrastructure legislation. As a national distributor and market leader in our industry, we believe we will be able to capitalize on strong expected growth in residential construction and the ensuing
non-residential
construction that typically follows that growth.
We expect the trend among our customers of increasingly favoring distribution over direct sourcing will continue and that our national footprint, broad product availability, high level of technical expertise and exceptional customer service will enable us to not only benefit from the continued shift in market share to the distribution channel but also to gain share disproportionately to our competitors.
The impact of climate change and increased natural flooding disasters have highlighted the need in the U.S. for improvements in storm drainage infrastructure solutions, including corrugated HDPE piping systems, storm water retention basins and other underground storm water management systems. The U.S. has sustained 258 weather and climate disasters each exceeding $1 billion in damages since 1980, including 22 in 2020, with aggregate damages in excess of $1.7 trillion.
8
As flooding events accelerate, storm water management systems with higher water volume handling capabilities become more critical to avoiding disasters, and we are well-positioned to support this increasing need. There is also an increasing demand for solutions to restoring and reusing water, particularly in areas of the country facing threats from droughts. Our reclaimed water products help address these water shortage concerns.
Attractive and Resilient Financial Profile
Our strong competitive position has contributed to a track record of consistent above-market growth and profitability improvement. Since our separation from HD Supply, we have achieved net sales growth at a CAGR of 13.4% from fiscal 2017 to the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2021, growing faster than our underlying addressable market and thus increasing our estimated market share from approximately 11% in fiscal 2017 to approximately 14% in fiscal 2020. Over
two-thirds
of our growth rate during this period was related to organic growth. Furthermore, our Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded approximately 330 bps from fiscal 2018 to the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2021. We believe that the diversified nature of our end markets, customer base, product offerings and geographic footprint provides increased stability for our business relative to distributors operating on a smaller scale. The municipal, residential and
non-residential
construction end markets have historically operated on different cycles and benefit from varied demand drivers. Moreover, our highest revenue concentration is in the municipal end market, which has historically been more resilient relative to construction end markets given the consistent need for maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure. For additional information about, and a calculation of, Adjusted EBITDA margin, which is a
non-GAAP
measure, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations—Non-GAAP
Financial Measures.”
We have a long and established track record of strong cash flow generation. Our capital requirements to organically grow and maintain our branch network have historically been very low,
 
8
 
Source: Bluefield Research,
Stormwater Opportunity Reinforces Quikrete
Deal
2 (2021).
 
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averaging below 0.5% of annual net sales. Moreover, our strong supplier relationships and favorable payment terms result in a low cost of inventory. Our working capital optimization provides both counter-seasonal and counter-cyclical stability, allowing us to invest and build working capital during growth periods, yet remain agile in the event of a potential industry-level decline. Our strong and resilient cash flow metrics have allowed us to materially reduce our Net Debt Leverage while also executing 16 acquisitions and pursuing numerous organic growth opportunities.
The resilience of our business and our end markets has been exemplified during the
COVID-19
pandemic. We have continued to operate as an essential business, providing products and services to our customers that they need to invest in and maintain our nation’s infrastructure. We have effectively managed costs and demonstrated agility in implementing new protocols to help ensure the safety of our associates, while responding quickly to changes at the local level. Despite the challenges that the
COVID-19
pandemic created for many industries, our industry has generally remained active, and we have been able to deliver positive sales and earnings growth (on a year-over-year basis) each quarter throughout fiscal 2020.
Strong and Highly Experienced Management and Sales Team
We have highly experienced management and sales teams, including our executive team, regional vice presidents, district managers, branch managers and field sales representatives, which allow us to effectively implement our operating model, manage our branches and maintain and grow our relationships with our customers. We believe the autonomy of district and branch managers not only allows us to focus on our local markets, but also helps foster a culture of learning to help develop our future leadership. The executive management team has deep functional and business expertise with average industry experience that exceeds 20 years. Our leaders have an exceptional track record of managing the business across economic cycles and achieving impressive organic growth. Our approximately 500 field sales representatives have an average of 15 years of experience. Our sales team’s knowledge of local regulatory requirements and specifications differentiates us from our competitors and allows us to provide customer-specific product and service offerings, which we believe helps us win across our local markets.
Our Strategies
We intend to capitalize on our competitive strengths to deliver profitable growth and create shareholder value through the following core strategies:
Utilize Scale and Platform to Accelerate New Product Adoption and Continue to Advance the Industry
We utilize our vast geographic footprint, customer relationships, local industry knowledge and training capabilities to introduce and accelerate the adoption of new products and technology in our industry. Examples include the advancement of smart-metering and fusible HDPE solutions to waterworks customers, fabrication and kitting assemblies for fire protection contractors and new water retention and erosion control products for residential and
non-residential
developers.
We have also identified a number of underpenetrated product categories in large and attractive markets where we can grow and enhance our market share. Erosion control is representative of these opportunities as it is a complementary product offering in a fragmented market and furthers our strong
 
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focus on clean water given its role in stormwater
run-off
prevention. We believe that we can expand our presence in these underpenetrated product categories without investing significant capital or incurring substantial incremental costs as a result of our existing branch network, favorable supplier relationships and low working capital requirements.
Opportunistically Pursue Strategic Accretive Acquisitions
We take a disciplined approach to sourcing, acquiring and integrating complementary businesses that can help us continue to expand into new geographic areas, acquire key talent, offer new products and services and consolidate existing positions. We have a strong acquisition platform in place and a proven track record, which bolsters our ability to pursue attractive assets in the market. We have built out an experienced mergers and acquisitions team that actively develops a large pipeline of synergistic acquisition targets and coordinates with field leadership to identify, pursue and integrate new businesses. Through overhead cost reduction, facility optimization, purchasing capabilities and our scalable information technology platform, we have been able to generate significant margin improvement and synergistic value from our acquired businesses.
Replicate Successful Expansion in Underpenetrated Geographies
We have demonstrated an ability to successfully expand in underpenetrated geographies. We intend to continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen our presence in MSAs where we have an established footprint as well as in certain underserved markets. We believe we are well-positioned to do so through our market intelligence and ability to attract and develop sales talent. We also intend to continue to selectively drive greenfield expansion. New branches have historically required initial capital expenditures of approximately $0.2 million to open each branch. All of the branches we have opened since 2017 that have operated for at least two years have generated positive operating income within the first two years, and we expect that our more recently opened branches will be able to achieve similar results. We can quickly and efficiently open new branches in geographies with attractive market trends given our highly capable talent pool, ability to capitalize on our scale and learning curve advantages based on past successes in entering new geographies. We have identified 174 MSAs where we believe we are underpenetrated and thus have opportunities to pursue greenfield expansion or offer more product lines and services, which we have estimated to be an approximately $1.4 billion sales opportunity.
Drive Growth through Our Focus on Building a Reliable and Sustainable Water Infrastructure
As a market leader in our industry, we recognize our responsibility to provide reliable infrastructure and support for water conservation efforts. In embracing that responsibility, we raise awareness and advocate for continued enhancement and preservation of water resources. We do this at the national, state and local levels through our prominent positions in and guidance to industry organizations, alliances and associations such as the National Utility Contractors Association, Water and Sewer Distributors of America, the American Water Works Association, the National Fire Sprinkler Association and the National Rural Water Association. Our involvement and direct support as a distributor is often critical to water municipalities, such as those undertaking large projects to improve water resources, as well as smaller rural communities undertaking projects to improve access to clean water or sanitary sewage systems.
We continuously align our business strategy with identifying and driving awareness of innovative technologies to repair and improve our nation’s water infrastructure. Between 2012 and 2018, the
 
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number of water main breaks in the U.S. increased 27%, primarily due to failures in cast iron and cement pipe for which break rates increased by over 40%.
9
On average, municipalities lose approximately 16% of water on an annual basis,
10
and the U.S. lost an estimated $7.6 billion worth of treated water in 2019 due to leaks.
11
In response, we continue to drive adoption of smart water technology, which reduces water loss through leak detection. We believe smart water technologies will continue to grow in importance across our municipal end market. We are increasingly focused on bringing our technical resources and advanced metering technology to underserved municipalities with
right-sized,
customized service offerings that work for their budgets. Moreover, as climate change continues to accelerate flooding events, our customers continue to demand more robust storm drainage infrastructure solutions. Our strong distribution network and access to specialized products make us ideally positioned to install and repair the necessary storm drain infrastructure.
Execute on Gross Margin Enhancement Initiatives
From fiscal 2018 to the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2021, we have improved our gross margin by roughly 310 basis points through several initiatives, including our private label program, data-driven pricing, rebate optimization and an expansion of value-added products and services. We have complemented these initiatives with accretive acquisitions, which has resulted in sustained margin expansion.
Our private label initiative has accelerated since our acquisition of LIP, through which we gained access to a highly scalable assortment of private brands and products utilized throughout the fire protection product line. We believe our ability to leverage our global sourcing capabilities and strong international supplier relationships, as well as the potential for automated distribution and logistics, will continue to create competitive pricing advantages. We are expanding our direct sourcing and distribution capabilities in order to drive further margin expansion in the future.
We formed a specialized team dedicated to driving sustainable margin improvement. An
end-to-end
review of our pricing strategies allowed us to identify key margin-enhancing opportunities, including continued optimization of system-wide pricing through IT enhancements, data-driven customer and product analysis that enable us to identify price opportunities and mitigate potential margin impacts from price changes. We believe these gross margin initiatives, in addition to our ability to leverage fixed costs, create a path to drive continued EBITDA margin expansion.
Invest in Attracting, Retaining and Developing World Class Talent
We believe that our continued investment in the development and well-being of our people, together with our focus on our foundational core values of honesty and integrity, support our commitment to our associates and to customer service. Our award-winning training programs enable us to accelerate development of our top talent to drive profitable growth while maintaining a supportive and mission-driven culture. Our training program, which we believe to be
best-in-class,
was named to Training Magazine’s 2021 Top 100 Award.
 
9
 
Source: Steven Folkman,
Water Main Break Rates in the USA and Canada: A Comprehensive Study,
Utah State University, 4 (March 2018), https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1173&context= mae_facpub.
10
 
Source: Chris Wiant,
Water Loss: Challenges, Costs, and Opportunities,
Water Quality and Health Council, 2 (2017),
https://waterandhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Water-Loss_11-10-17.pdf.
11
 
Source: Value of Water Campaign,
The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure
24 (2020).
 
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We intend to continue to invest in our already-strong talent base by attracting and developing associates. Our training and leadership curricula and expanded diversity and inclusion programs drive high associate engagement and a positive associate experience. In addition, we deliver attractive career growth opportunities to our associates while leveraging their knowledge and expertise.
Our dedication to developing industry leaders and commitment to ESG matters allow us to attract and retain the most qualified and motivated associates in the industry. Consistent with our local presence and focus, we actively invest in the communities in which we operate, supporting organizations, programs and events that foster community development both financially and through the volunteer efforts of our associates.
Our History
Our first legacy distribution company dates back to 1874 and over the years, our company has grown through sustained, above-market organic growth and a series of mergers and acquisitions. In 2005, The Home Depot acquired National Waterworks Holdings and subsequently merged it with Hughes Supply Inc. to establish one of the leading waterworks distributors in the United States. Under The Home Depot’s ownership, we became HD Supply Waterworks and completed several small acquisitions to further expand our geographic footprint. In 2007, a group of private equity investors, including CD&R, acquired the HD Supply business from The Home Depot and subsequently executed an initial public offering in 2013. In August 2017, HD Supply Waterworks was acquired by CD&R from HD Supply and was subsequently rebranded as Core & Main. On July 27, 2021, we completed our IPO of 34,883,721 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $20.00 per share.
Recent Developments
Initial Public Offering
Core & Main is a Delaware corporation that was incorporated on April 9, 2021 for the purpose of facilitating our IPO and other related transactions in order to carry on the business of Holdings and its consolidated subsidiaries. On July 27, 2021, we completed our IPO. We received net proceeds of approximately $663.7 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions. All of the net proceeds from the IPO, less $7.8 million of transaction costs directly attributable to the IPO, were utilized to purchase 34,883,721 newly issued Partnership Interests for approximately $655.9 million in the aggregate. In turn, Holdings and Opco utilized the net proceeds of the IPO directly or indirectly received from us in the Refinancing Transactions, as described under “—Refinancing.”
On August 20, 2021, we issued 5,232,558 shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock in connection with the IPO at the initial public offering price of $20.00 per share before underwriting discounts and commissions (the “IPO Overallotment Option Exercise”). We received net proceeds of approximately $99.5 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions. All of the net proceeds from the IPO Overallotment Option Exercise were utilized to purchase 5,232,558 newly issued Partnership Interests at a price per unit equal to the public offering price per share less underwriting discounts and commissions. In turn, Holdings and Opco utilized the net proceeds of the IPO Overallotment Option Exercise directly or indirectly received from us for general corporate purposes.
 
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Refinancing
On July 27, 2021, Opco (i) amended the terms of the Term Loan Credit Agreement (as defined in “Description of Certain Indebtedness”) in order to, among other things, enter into a new $1,500.0 million seven-year senior term loan and (ii) amended the terms of the ABL Credit Agreement (as defined in “Description of Certain Indebtedness”) in order to, among other things, increase the aggregate amount of commitments by $150.0 million to $850.0 million overall and extend the maturity date from July 2024 to July 2026. For more information, see “Description of Certain Indebtedness.”
Holdings and Opco used the net proceeds of the IPO directly or indirectly received from us, together with the net proceeds from borrowings under the Senior Term Loan Facility and cash on hand, to redeem (i) all $300.0 million aggregate principal amount of the senior unsecured notes due September 15, 2024 issued by Holdings (the “Senior 2024 Notes”) then outstanding at a redemption price equal to 102.000% of the aggregate principal amount thereof and (ii) all $750.0 million aggregate principal amount of the senior unsecured notes due August 15, 2025 issued by Opco (the “Senior 2025 Notes”) then outstanding at a redemption price equal to 101.531% of the aggregate principal amount thereof, plus, in each case, accrued and unpaid interest, by satisfying and discharging the indenture governing the Senior 2025 Notes at the closing of the IPO and redeeming the Senior 2025 Notes on August 15, 2021. Additionally, Opco repaid $1,257.8 million outstanding under the Prior Term Loan Facility (as defined in “Description of Certain Indebtedness”), plus accrued and unpaid interest, and settled the interest rate swap associated with the Prior Term Loan Facility (collectively, the “Refinancing Transactions”).
Acquisitions
On August 9, 2021, we completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Pacific Pipe Company, Inc. (“Pacific Pipe”) in a transaction valued up to $102.5 million, subject to working capital adjustments. Pacific Pipe has four locations and serves municipalities and contractors in the water, wastewater, storm drainage and irrigation industries throughout Hawaii with a broad product offering. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, Pacific Pipe had revenue of approximately $73.1 million.
On August 30, 2021, we completed the acquisition of certain assets and assumption of certain liabilities of L&M Bag & Supply Co., Inc. (“L&M”) in a transaction valued up to $60.0 million, subject to, working capital adjustments. L&M is a specialized supplier of geotextile fabrics and geogrids, as well as silt fences, turbidity barriers and safety fences, weed control fabric, and sod staples. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, L&M had revenue of approximately $58.4 million.
We continue to actively evaluate and pursue other potential acquisitions and seek to acquire complementary businesses. We cannot assure you that we will identify or successfully complete transactions with suitable acquisition candidates in the future, nor can we assure you that any completed acquisitions will be successful. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—Acquisitions and other strategic transactions involve a number of inherent risks, any of which could result in the benefits anticipated not being realized and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.”
Our Majority Shareholder
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of $35 billion in 100 companies representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of more than $150 billion. The firm has offices in New York and London.
 
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After the completion of this offering, we expect that the CD&R Investors, each of which is owned by investment funds managed by, or affiliated with, CD&R, will control approximately 69.9% of our total voting power (or approximately 68.6% if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) through their ownership of Class A common stock and Class B common stock, each of which entitles the holder to one vote per share. As a result, we expect to continue to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NYSE rules following the completion of this offering. This election will allow us to continue to rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements otherwise applicable to NYSE-listed companies. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock and This Offering—We expect to continue to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NYSE listing standards and, as a result, we will qualify for, and currently intend to rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements. You will not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such requirements” and “Management—Corporate Governance.”
Organizational Structure
Core & Main was incorporated on April 9, 2021 for the purpose of facilitating the IPO and other related transactions in order to carry on the business of Holdings and its consolidated subsidiaries. Core & Main is a holding company, and its sole material asset is its ownership interest in Holdings, a portion of which is held indirectly through CD&R WW, LLC. Holdings has no operations and no material assets of its own other than its indirect ownership interest in Opco, the legal entity that conducts the operations of Core & Main. For more information regarding the IPO, the Reorganization Transactions and our holding company structure, see “Organizational Structure.”
 
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The diagram below provides a simplified overview of our organizational structure immediately following this offering (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from the selling stockholders in this offering):
 
 
Corporate Information
Core & Main, Inc., the issuer in this offering, is a Delaware corporation that was incorporated on April 9, 2021 in connection with the Reorganization Transactions. Our principal executive offices are located at 1830 Craig Park Court, St. Louis, MO 63146, and our telephone number is (314)
432-4700.
Our website is
www.coreandmain.com
. None of the information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website or any other website identified herein is part of, or incorporated into, this prospectus, and you should not rely on any such information in connection with your decision to invest in our Class A common stock.
 
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Summary Risk Factors
Our business is subject to a number of risks, including risks that may prevent us from achieving our business objectives or may adversely affect our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations that you should consider before making a decision to invest in our common stock. These risks and risks associated with our indebtedness, our organizational structure and our Class A common stock and this offering are discussed more fully under the caption “Risk Factors.” These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
   
declines, volatility and cyclicality in the U.S. residential and
non-residential
construction markets and the impact of seasonality and weather-related fluctuations;
 
   
slowdowns in municipal infrastructure spending and delays in appropriations of federal funds;
 
   
price fluctuations in our product costs, particularly with respect to the commodity-based products that we sell, and availability and cost of freight and energy;
 
   
the spread of, and response to,
COVID-19,
and the inability to predict the ultimate impact on us;
 
   
risks involved with acquisitions and other strategic transactions, including our ability to identify, acquire, close or integrate acquisition targets successfully;
 
   
the competitive markets in which we compete, consolidation within our industry, our ability to competitively bid for municipal contracts and the development of alternatives to distributors of our products in the supply chain;
 
   
our ability to hire, engage and retain key personnel, including sales representatives, qualified branch, district and region managers and senior management;
 
   
our ability to identify, develop and maintain supplier relationships with a sufficient number of qualified suppliers and potential changes in vendor rebates or other terms of our vender agreements;
 
   
the ability of our customers to make payments on credit sales;
 
   
our ability to identify and introduce new products and product lines and manage our inventory effectively;
 
   
costs and potential liabilities or obligations imposed by environmental, health and safety laws and requirements or other regulations;
 
   
difficulties with or interruptions of our fabrication services;
 
   
our ability to maintain a high level of product quality, and potential exposure to product liability, construction defect and warranty claims and other litigation and legal proceedings;
 
   
safety and labor risks associated with the distribution of our products as well as work stoppages and other disruptions due to labor disputes;
 
   
the domestic and international regulatory and political environment, including with regard to trade relationships and tariffs, as well as difficulty sourcing products as a result of import constraints;
 
   
our ability to operate our business consistently through highly dispersed locations;
 
   
interruptions in the proper functioning of our IT systems, including from cybersecurity threats;
 
   
our ability to continue our customer relationships with short-term contracts;
 
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our substantial indebtedness, the potential that we may incur additional indebtedness and associated risks of raising capital and our ability to generate the significant amount of cash needed to service our indebtedness;
 
   
the limitations and restrictions in the agreements governing our indebtedness, the Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of Holdings and the Tax Receivable Agreements;
 
   
future sales of shares by us or our existing stockholders could cause our stock price to decline;
 
   
our organizational structure, including our payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreements, which may be significant; and
 
   
the significant influence the CD&R Investors have over us and potential conflicts between the interests of the CD&R Investors and other stockholders.
 
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The Offering
 
Issuer
   Core & Main, Inc.
Class A Common Stock Offered by the Selling Stockholders
  

20,000,000 shares.
Option to Purchase Additional Shares of Class A Common Stock
  

The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a
30-day
option from the date of this prospectus to purchase up to 3,000,000 additional shares of Class A common stock from the selling stockholders at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.
Class A Common Stock to be Outstanding After This Offering
  

167,522,403 shares (or 168,646,966 shares if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).
Class B Common Stock to be Outstanding After This Offering
  

78,398,141 shares, all of which will be owned by the Continuing Limited Partners (or 77,273,578 shares if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).
Class A Common Stock to be Outstanding After This Offering Assuming Exchange of All Partnership Interests Held by the Continuing Limited Partners
  



245,920,544 shares.
Voting Rights
   Holders of outstanding shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock vote together as a single class on all matters on which stockholders are entitled to vote generally, except as otherwise required by law. Each share of Class A common stock and Class B common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all such matters. See “Description of Capital Stock—Common Stock.” The Continuing Limited Partners hold all of the outstanding shares of our Class B common stock. The shares of Class B common stock have no economic rights.
Voting Power Held by Purchasers in this Offering After Giving Effect to This Offering
  

24.4% (or 25.7%, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).
Voting Power Held by the Original Limited Partners after Giving Effect to This Offering
  

75.6% (or 74.3%, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).
 
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Exchange Rights of Holders of Partnership Interests
  

The Continuing Limited Partners (or their permitted transferees) have the right, from time to time and subject to the terms of the Exchange Agreement, to exchange their Partnership Interests, together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of Class A common stock on a
one-for-one
basis or, at the election of a majority of the disinterested members of our board of directors, for cash from a substantially concurrent public offering or private sale (based on the price of our Class A common stock sold in such public offering or private sale), net of any underwriting discounts and commissions, for each Partnership Interest exchanged, subject to customary conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends, reclassifications and other similar transactions. The Exchange Agreement also provides that in connection with any such exchange, to the extent that Holdings has, since consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO, made distributions to the applicable Continuing Limited Partner that are proportionately lesser or greater than the distributions made to us, on a pro rata basis, the number of shares of Class A common stock to be issued or cash to be paid to such Continuing Limited Partner will be adjusted to take into account the amount of such discrepancy that is allocable to the Partnership Interests, and Class B common stock, subject to such exchange. We expect to cause Holdings to make distributions to its partners in such a manner as generally to limit increases to the number of shares of Class A common stock to be issued or cash to be paid to exchanging Continuing Limited Partners in connection with the adjustment described in the preceding sentence. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Exchange Agreement.”
Tax Receivable Agreements
   In connection with the Reorganization Transactions, on July 22, 2021, we entered into a Tax Receivable Agreement with the Continuing Limited Partners (the “Continuing Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement”) that provides for the payment by Core & Main to the Continuing Limited Partners or their permitted transferees of 85% of the benefits, if any, that
 
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   Core & Main realizes, or in some circumstances is deemed to realize, as a result of (i) increases in tax basis or other similar tax benefits as a result of exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement, (ii) our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Continuing Limited Partners and in connection with exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement and (iii) our utilization of certain other tax benefits related to our entering into the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement, including tax benefits attributable to payments under the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement. In addition, on July 22, 2021, we entered into a Tax Receivable Agreement with the Former Limited Partners (the “Former Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement” and together with the Continuing Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement, the “Tax Receivable Agreements”), which provides for the payment by us to certain Former Limited Partners or their permitted transferees of 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) the tax attributes of the Partnership Interests we hold in respect of such Former Limited Partners’ interest in us, including such attributes which resulted from such Former Limited Partners’ prior acquisition of ownership interests in Holdings and our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Former Limited Partners and (ii) certain other tax benefits. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreements” and “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information” for information regarding anticipated future payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements.
IPO
Lock-up
Release; New
Lock-up
Agreement
   In connection with this offering, the IPO Representatives have agreed to release the restrictions under the
lock-up
agreements that were executed in connection with the IPO with respect to up to 20,000,000 shares (or up to 23,000,000 shares including the underwriters’
 
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   option to purchase additional shares) of our Class A common stock in this offering that are held by the selling stockholders (including after giving effect to the exchanges described above), provided that the release of shares of our Class A common stock held by the selling stockholders is limited to the shares actually sold in this offering. Additionally, the selling stockholders will enter into new
lock-up
agreements with the representatives of the several underwriters in this offering, pursuant to which the selling stockholders, for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus, may not (and may not cause any of their direct or indirect affiliates to), sell their remaining shares following the completion of this offering, subject to certain provisions and exceptions. See “Underwriting.”
Use of Proceeds
   We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of our Class A common stock by the selling stockholders in this offering, including any shares the selling stockholders may sell pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock.
Dividend Policy
   We do not currently anticipate paying dividends on our Class A common stock for the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends on our Class A common stock will be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and depend upon various factors. See “Dividend Policy.” Holders of our Class B common stock do not have any right to receive dividends, or to receive a distribution upon a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of Core & Main, with respect to their Class B common stock.
Risk Factors
   Our business is subject to a number of risks that you should consider before making a decision to invest in our Class A common stock. See “Risk Factors.”
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations for
Non-U.S.
Holders
  

For a discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations that may be relevant for
non-U.S.
stockholders, see “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations for
Non-U.S.
Holders.”
NYSE Trading Symbol
   “CNM”.
 
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The number of shares of our Class A common stock to be outstanding immediately following this offering is based on 160,067,161 shares of Class A common stock outstanding as of October 31, 2021 and excludes:
 
   
85,853,383 shares of Class A common stock issuable upon exchange of Partnership Interests, together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock held by the Continuing Limited Partners, which includes 10,938,597 shares of Class A common stock corresponding to fully vested common units of Management Feeder outstanding held by certain members of our management, and 3,060,771 shares of Class A common stock corresponding to unvested common units of Management Feeder outstanding held by certain members of our management;
 
   
15,713,710 shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under the Omnibus Incentive Plan and the ESPP (each as defined in “Compensation Discussion and Analysis”), which includes 633,683 shares of Class A common stock issuable under outstanding stock appreciation rights, of which stock appreciation rights representing 285,159 shares of Class A common stock have vested and are exercisable; and
 
   
19,973 shares of our Class A common stock subject to outstanding unvested restricted stock units (“RSUs”) granted to associates.
Unless otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus assumes no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock.
 
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SUMMARY HISTORICAL AND PRO FORMA CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA
The following table presents the summary historical consolidated financial data for Core & Main and its subsidiaries and the summary pro forma consolidated financial data for Core & Main for the periods and at the dates indicated. We are a holding company, and our sole material asset is our direct and indirect ownership interest in Holdings, which, through its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including Opco, conducts all of our operations. As the general partner of Holdings, we operate and control and conduct all of our business and affairs through Holdings and its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including Opco. As a result, the consolidated financial statements of Core & Main recognize the assets and liabilities received in the Reorganization Transactions at their historical carrying amounts. We consolidate Holdings in our consolidated financial statements and record a
non-controlling
interest related to the Partnership Interests held by our Continuing Limited Partners on our consolidated balance sheet and statement of operations.
The summary historical consolidated statements of operations data and summary consolidated statements of cash flows data presented below for fiscal 2020, fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data presented below as of January 31, 2021 and February 2, 2020 have been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements of Core & Main included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary historical consolidated statements of operations data and summary consolidated statements of cash flows data presented below for the three months and nine months ended October 31, 2021 and November 1, 2020 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data presented below as of October 31, 2021 have been derived from the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of Core & Main included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results expected for any future period. You should read the summary historical consolidated financial data below together with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, as well as “Organizational Structure,” “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the other information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.
The summary unaudited pro forma consolidated financial data of Core & Main presented below has been derived from our unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations data for the nine months ended October 31, 2021 and fiscal 2020 gives effect to the Reorganization Transactions, the IPO, the IPO Overallotment Option Exercise and this offering as if they had occurred on February 3, 2020, and the summary unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet data gives effect to this offering as if it had occurred on October 31, 2021. The summary unaudited pro forma consolidated financial data is presented for illustrative purposes only and is not necessarily indicative of the operating results or financial position that would have occurred if the relevant transactions had been consummated on the dates indicated, nor is it indicative of future operating results or financial position. See “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information” and “Organizational Structure.”
 
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Pro
Forma
Nine
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Pro
Forma
Fiscal
Year
Ended
January 31,
2021
   
Nine
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Nine
Months
Ended
November 1,
2020
   
Three
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Three
Months
Ended
November 1,
2020
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
January 31,
2021
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
February 2,
2020
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
February 3
2019
 
   
(dollars in millions, except percentages, share and per share data)
 
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
                 
Net sales
  $ 3,757.5     $ 3,642.3     $ 3,757.5     $ 2,810.5     $ 1,404.8     $ 1,012.5     $ 3,642.3     $ 3,388.6     $ 3,201.6  
Cost of sales
    2,804.9       2,763.9       2,804.9       2,136.3       1,034.2       768.1       2,763.9       2,599.4       2,493.5  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Gross profit
    952.6       878.4       952.6       674.2       370.6       244.4       878.4       789.2       708.1  
Operating Expenses:
                 
Selling, general and administrative
    512.2       582.5       533.6       418.6       187.9       144.8       555.6       508.4       457.7  
Depreciation and amortization
    102.6       137.3       102.6       102.7       35.2       34.9       137.3       125.4       112.0  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total operating expenses
    614.8       719.8       636.2       521.3       223.1       179.7       692.9       633.8       569.7  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Operating income
    337.8       158.6       316.4       152.9       147.5       64.7       185.5       155.4       138.4  
Interest expense
    39.1       51.5       85.3       103.8       13.0       35.6       139.1       113.7       101.1  
Loss on debt modification and extinguishment
          50.7       50.7             0.3                          
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Income before provision for income taxes
    298.7       56.4       180.4       49.1       134.2       29.1       46.4       41.7       37.3  
Provision for income taxes
    56.4       17.7       34.2       12.6       24.9       7.5       9.1       6.1       7.0  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net income
  $ 242.3     $ 38.7     $ 146.2     $ 36.5     $ 109.3     $ 21.6     $ 37.3     $ 35.6     $ 30.3  
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Less: net income attributable to
non-controlling
interests(1)
  $ 91.0     $ 16.9     $ 27.9       $ 44.9          
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
         
Net income attributable to Core & Main, Inc.(1)
  $ 151.3     $ 21.8     $ 118.3       $ 64.4          
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
         
Per Share Data:(2)
                 
Net income per share, basic
  $ 0.90     $ 0.13     $ 0.27       $ 0.41          
Net income per share, diluted
  $ 0.89     $ 0.13     $ 0.26       $ 0.39          
Weighted average shares used to compute net income per share, basic
    167,522,403       167,522,403       156,869,487         158,986,524          
Weighted average shares used to compute net income per share, diluted
    245,770,546       245,587,427       243,080,600         244,582,116          
Other Selected Financial Data:
                 
EBITDA(3)
  $ 443.0     $ 248.7     $ 370.9     $             258.1     $ 183.3     $             100.2     $             326.3     $             284.1     $             252.9  
Adjusted EBITDA(3)
    453.4       342.3       453.4       270.8       189.1       103.1       342.3       298.0       259.8  
Adjusted EBITDA margin(4)
    12.1     9.4     12.1     9.6     13.5     10.2     9.4     8.8     8.1
Capital expenditures
  $ 12.0     $ 11.9     $ 12.0     $ 8.3     $ 3.9     $ 2.6     $ 11.9     $ 13.9     $ 13.9  
Net Debt Leverage(5)
    2.8x         2.8x             5.6x       6.4x       5.9x  
 
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Pro
Forma
Nine
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Pro
Forma
Fiscal
Year
Ended
January 31,
2021
   
Nine
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Nine
Months
Ended
November 1,
2020
   
Three
Months
Ended
October 31,
2021
   
Three
Months
Ended
November 1,
2020
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
January 31,
2021
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
February 2,
2020
   
Fiscal Year
Ended
February 3
2019
 
   
(dollars in millions, except percentages, share and per share data)
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (at end of period):
                 
Cash and cash equivalents
  $ 4.9       $ 4.9           $ 380.9     $ 180.9    
Property and equipment, net
    90.7         90.7             86.2       87.5    
Total assets
    4,380.8         4,380.8             3,923.7       3,532.6    
Total liabilities
    2,628.3         2,622.1             3,123.0       2,762.1    
Total stockholders’ equity/partners’ capital
    1,752.5         1,758.7             800.7       770.5    
Total consolidated indebtedness
    1,496.3         1,496.3             2,311.0       2,074.0    
Working capital(6)
    853.1         854.3             814.8       611.0    
Cash Flow Data:
                 
Net cash provided by (used in):
                 
Operating activities
      $ (66.2   $ 154.2         $ 214.3     $ 194.3     $ 87.4  
Investing activities
        (188.9     (225.3         (228.9     (233.6     (21.6
Financing activities
        (120.9     223.1           214.6       182.9       (28.6
     
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
      $ (376.0   $ 152.0         $ 200.0     $ 143.6     $ 37.2  
     
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
(1)
Prior to the Reorganization Transactions, there was no net income attributable to Core & Main, Inc. See “Basis of Presentation” for a description of the consolidated financial statements.
(2)
Represents basic and diluted earnings per share of Class A common stock and weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding for the three months ended October 31, 2021 and the period from July 23, 2021 through October 31, 2021, which is the period following the Reorganization Transactions. The Company analyzed the calculation of earnings per share for the periods prior to the Reorganization Transactions and determined that it resulted in values that would not be meaningful to the users of the consolidated financial statements. Therefore, there is no earnings per share attributable to Core & Main, Inc. for the periods prior to the Reorganization Transactions on July 22, 2021.
(3)
See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations—Non-GAAP
Financial Measures” for more information regarding EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to net income or net income attributable to Core & Main, Inc., as applicable.
(4)
Adjusted EBITDA margin represents Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations—Non-GAAP
Financial Measures” for a calculation of Adjusted EBITDA margin.
(5)
Net Debt Leverage represents total consolidated indebtedness, including of Holdings, less cash and cash equivalents, divided by Adjusted EBITDA. Net Debt Leverage as of October 31, 2021 is calculated using Adjusted EBITDA of $524.9 million for the trailing twelve months ended October 31, 2021. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations—Non-GAAP
Financial Measures” for a calculation of Net Debt Leverage.
(6)
Working capital represents current assets minus current liabilities.
 
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. Our reputation, business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows are subject to various risks. You should consider and read carefully all of the risks and uncertainties described below, as well as other information included in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes, before making an investment decision. The occurrence of any of the following risks or additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us could materially and adversely affect our reputation, business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows. In such case, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. This prospectus also contains forward-looking statements and estimates that involve risks and uncertainties. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of specific factors, including the risks and uncertainties described below.
Risks Related to Our Business
We have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted by declines and volatility in the U.S. residential and
non-residential
construction markets.
Our business is largely dependent on activity in the U.S. residential and
non-residential
construction markets, which are volatile and subject to cyclical market pressures. The length and magnitude of these cycles have varied over time and by market. Approximately 18% and 37% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were directly related to the U.S. residential and
non-residential
end markets, respectively. The level of activity in the U.S. residential and
non-residential
construction markets is based on numerous factors such as availability of credit, interest rates, general economic conditions, consumer confidence and other factors that are beyond our control. For example, in 2020, residential construction activity accelerated, in part due to the
COVID-19
pandemic, as demand shifted away from densely populated urban centers, while
non-residential
construction slowed due to the
COVID-19
pandemic. A significant downturn in activity in either the U.S. residential or
non-residential
construction markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We cannot predict the duration of the residential or
non-residential
construction industry market conditions or the timing of the recovery of residential or
non-residential
construction activity back to the historical averages. We also cannot provide any assurances that the operational strategies we have implemented to address current market conditions will be successful. Weakness in the residential or
non-residential
construction industry could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Due to these factors and the potential volatility in the residential and
non-residential
construction markets, there may be fluctuations in our operating results, and the results for any historical period may not be indicative of results for any future period. Any uncertainty about current economic conditions can pose a risk to our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows, as participants in the U.S. residential and
non-residential
construction industries may postpone spending in response to tighter credit, negative financial news or declines in income or asset values, which could have a material negative effect on the demand for our products.
 
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Our business and the market for our products and services generally are subject to slowdowns in municipal infrastructure spending, which have in the past, and may in the future, result in a decrease in our net sales and operating results through reduced sales of our products to our municipal and contractor customers.
The market for the distribution of our products and services is affected by national, regional and local slowdowns in the amount spent by municipalities on waterworks infrastructure. We supply many of our products to contractors in connection with municipal projects. Approximately 45% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were related to the municipal market. Many of the factors that influence waterworks sales are not within our control.
Municipal water infrastructure spending depends largely on availability and commitment of public funds for municipal spending, interest rates, water system capacity and general economic conditions. Product sales are subject to the availability of funding for municipal projects and reduced municipal funding could adversely affect our net sales. Economic downturns in any of our markets could reduce the level of infrastructure spending and construction activity and thus our net sales.
In addition, municipal budget processes and conditions in the municipal bond market can impact municipal spending. If a municipality is experiencing budget difficulties, or if a municipality is unable to access capital through the municipal bond market, it may allocate less funding to water infrastructure projects. Any slowdown in municipal spending on water infrastructure projects could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Fluctuations in federal funding can also negatively impact municipal spending. Reduced federal funding and corresponding reductions in federal fund appropriations can adversely affect many of our customers, who derive funding from federal, state and local bodies, which in turn can reduce the demand for our products and services. Conversely, increased federal funding can also adversely affect our business by slowing down state and local spending as a result of delays in appropriating such federal funding to our end customers. In November 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $55 billion to invest in water infrastructure across the United States. When such a large amount of federal funding for infrastructure projects is allocated at once, funds may not be efficiently distributed to the markets in which we operate on a timely basis. Many of our customers, including those in our municipal end market, may also choose or be forced to delay the commencement of infrastructure projects until such funds are allocated, may choose or be forced to
re-scope
construction-ready infrastructure projects to qualify for federal funding or may not be able to timely pay for products or services provided, which could delay any benefits we expect to receive from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Further, while our industries may benefit from increased federal funding, there is no certainty that we will receive benefits associated with such increase, as a disproportionate amount of funds may go to our competitors.
We are subject to price fluctuations in our product costs, particularly with respect to the commodity-based products that we sell.
The costs to procure the products we sell, in particular our commodity-based products, are historically volatile and subject to fluctuations arising from changes in supply and demand, national and international economic conditions, labor costs, competition, market speculation, government regulation and trade policies, as well as periodic delays in the delivery of our products. Our suppliers are sensitive to price fluctuations in commodities. PVC, ductile iron, fusible HDPE and steel and copper pipe and tubing products that included these commodities accounted for approximately 24% of our net sales in fiscal 2020. Volatility in prices of these commodities has increased in recent months due to several factors, including, but not limited to, constraints in the supply chain associated with labor, global logistics, and availability of raw materials, that are in part due to the impact of
COVID-19
on the global economy, and were exacerbated by a decline in product supply related to hurricanes in the second half
 
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of 2020 and the winter storms of 2021 in Texas, which resulted in temporary shut downs of certain plants and other facilities that produce certain materials used in the commodity-based products that we purchase. These factors have led to decreased availability of certain products that we purchase from our vendors. For example, as a result of these factors and supply and demand dynamics, we estimate that we have experienced an approximately 112% increase in PVC pipe costs in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2020. We have a limited ability to control the timing and amount of changes in the cost to procure our products. A shortage of available manufacturing capacity, or excess capacity, in the industry can result in significant increases or declines in the supply of our products, which in turn results in fluctuations in the market prices for our products, often within a short period of time. Although in some cases we have firm price quotes with our suppliers that fix the price at which we purchase products for a defined period of time, we have experienced termination of certain contracts through the enactment of force majeure contractual clauses.
Although we seek to recover increases in our product costs by passing product cost increases on to our customers, we have not always been completely successful. In addition, in periods of declining costs for our products, we may face pricing pressure from our customers, requiring us to reduce the prices at which we sell our products to our customers in order to remain competitive in our markets. As we have experienced significant product cost increases over a relatively short period, there is increased risk in future periods that we may experience a higher level of deflation or net sales growth at substantially lower rates than in recent periods following improvements in the availability of labor, transportation and products. Our ability to adjust prices in a timely manner to account for such price fluctuations may often depend on market conditions, our fixed costs and other factors, and our failure to adapt our product prices and operational strategies could result in lower revenue, profitability and the write down of our inventories. Historically, we have not engaged in material hedging strategies for purchases of commodity-based products. We generally sell our products on a spot basis and not under long-term contracts. Any increase in product costs that are not offset by an increase in our prices, or our inability to maintain price levels in an environment of declining product costs, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The
COVID-19
pandemic has had, and could continue to have, an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The public health crisis caused by
COVID-19
and certain government restrictions to prevent its spread have had, and could continue to have, an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition as well as the operations of some of our suppliers. While such restrictions have started to ease, these restrictions and/or stricter measures may be reintroduced, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The
COVID-19
pandemic has also caused significant economic and financial disruption and volatility both in the United States and around the world, leading to an unprecedented slowdown in economic activity, a related increase in unemployment, lower interest rates, volatile equity market valuations and significant disruptions in financial activity. These conditions are expected to continue in the near term.
In fiscal 2020, we experienced decreased demand for our products and softening in our business as a result of the outbreak of the
COVID-19
pandemic in the United States, primarily during the second and third fiscal quarters, most notably in jurisdictions where governments more narrowly defined which services constitute “essential services” with respect to construction activities. To mitigate the impact of
COVID-19
on our business, we implemented various cost-saving measures, including, among other things, (i) compensation reduction measures, including furloughs of our associates in areas where customer demand was most significantly impacted by government restrictions, freezing new hires and postponing annual merit increases, (ii) deferring certain
non-essential
capital expenditures and other discretionary spending, such as reducing marketing and travel and entertainment expenses, (iii) implementing a temporary pause on activities related to our mergers and acquisitions, (iv) delaying
 
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lease renewals and relocations, (v) establishing multiple field-based teams tasked with redesigning our processes to meet new business requirements and (vi) continuing margin enhancement and process innovation initiatives to drive cost efficiencies. However, there can be no assurances that any of these, or other actions we may take in the future, will be effective in mitigating the impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic. In recent months, we have seen increasing pressure on our supply chain due to several factors, including, but not limited to, labor availability, global logistics and availability of raw materials, that are in part due to the impact of
COVID-19
on the global economy. For example, access to certain meter products that we sell is dependent on the ability of manufacturers to obtain semi-conductor chips. The global supply shortage of semi-conductor chips has impacted various industries and companies, including us, and there is no certainty as to when availability will return to historic levels. Depending on the ultimate scope and duration of supply chain disruptions, we may experience increases in product costs which we may not be able to pass on to our customers, loss of sales due to lack of product availability or potential customer claims from the inability to provide products in accordance with contractual terms.
In addition, if significant numbers of associates, key personnel and/or senior management become unavailable due to sickness, legal requirements or self-isolation, our operations could be disrupted and materially adversely affected. In November 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an emergency temporary standard (the “OSHA Regulation”), which mandates that all companies with at least 100 employees implement a
COVID-19
vaccination policy that requires their employees to either be vaccinated or to undergo weekly
COVID-19
testing, beginning February 9, 2022. In addition, beginning January 10, 2022, unvaccinated employees would be required to wear a mask while on the job site. Employers that fail to enforce the OSHA Regulation would be subject to fines. In light of ongoing litigation relating to the OSHA Regulation, it is currently not possible to predict with any certainty the exact impact the new regulation will have on us. While we are continuing to evaluate the applicability and potential impacts of the OSHA Regulation, if upheld, we expect that compliance would result in the incurrence of material costs relating to testing and could be disruptive to our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. In addition, the OSHA Regulation or similar measures taken in response to
COVID-19
could adversely impact our ability to retain and attract associates, including key personnel. Moreover, a decline in municipal waterworks systems and infrastructure spending or a decrease in
non-residential
construction and/or housing starts could prevent us from executing on our strategies and negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, the impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic could exacerbate the other risks we face described elsewhere under “Risk Factors.”
There continue to be significant uncertainties associated with the
COVID-19
pandemic, including with respect to the course, duration and severity of the virus, future actions that may be taken by governmental authorities and private businesses to contain the
COVID-19
pandemic or to mitigate its impact and the effectiveness of such actions, the timing and speed of economic recovery and the widespread availability and ultimate effectiveness of vaccinations for
COVID-19.
We continue to monitor the situation and assess further possible implications to our business. Even after the
COVID-19
pandemic subsides, we could still experience long-term impacts on our operating costs, as a result of attempts to counteract future outbreaks of
COVID-19
or other viruses through, for example, enhanced health and hygiene requirements in one or more regions. Moreover, the long-term economic effects of
COVID-19
on residential, construction and commercial development and municipal budgets are uncertain. We cannot at this time reasonably estimate the impact to our future results of operations, cash flows and financial condition; however, if these conditions worsen, we may be materially and adversely impacted.
 
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Our business is affected by general business and economic conditions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The markets in which we compete, and demand for our products and services, are affected by a number of general business, financial market and economic conditions. General business, financial market and economic conditions that could impact the level of activity in our industry include economic recessions, changes in
end-user
preferences, business and consumer confidence, inflation, availability of credit, fluctuations in interest rates and capital, credit and mortgage markets and changes in the fiscal or monetary policies of governments in the regions in which we operate. For example, changes in interest rates can significantly increase the costs of the projects in which our products are utilized and may lead to such projects being reduced, delayed and/or cancelled. This could result in a decrease in our revenues and earnings and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, higher interest rates are often accompanied by inflation. In an inflationary environment, we may be unable to raise the prices of our products sufficiently to keep up with the rate of inflation. A decline in our end markets could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, weakness in our industry could have a material adverse effect on us and we may have to close underperforming facilities from time to time as warranted by general economic conditions or weakness in the industry. In addition to a reduction in demand for our products, these factors may also reduce the price we are able to charge for our products and services. Any of these factors could negatively impact our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Acquisitions and other strategic transactions involve a number of inherent risks, any of which could result in the benefits anticipated not being realized and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Acquisitions are an important component of our growth strategy and we regularly consider and enter into strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, investments and other growth, market and geographic expansion strategies, with the expectation that these transactions will result in increases in net sales, cost savings, synergies and various other benefits. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to grow our business through acquisitions or other strategic transactions as we have done historically or that any businesses acquired will perform in accordance with expectations or that business judgments concerning the value, strengths and weaknesses of businesses acquired will prove to be correct. We will continue to analyze and evaluate the acquisition of strategic businesses and other strategic transactions with the potential to strengthen our industry position or enhance our existing product offerings. We cannot assure you that we will identify or successfully complete transactions with suitable acquisition candidates in the future, nor can we assure you that completed acquisitions will be successful. Our ability to deliver the expected benefits from any strategic transactions that we do complete is subject to numerous uncertainties and risks, including our ability to integrate personnel, labor models, financial, supply chain and logistics, IT and other systems successfully; disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of management and other critical personnel; hiring additional management and other critical personnel; and increasing the scope, geographic diversity and complexity of our operations. If an acquired business fails to operate as anticipated or cannot be successfully integrated with our existing business, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected. Moreover, consolidation in our industry could make it more difficult for us to maintain operating margins and could also increase competition for our potential acquisition targets and result in high purchase price multiples.
In connection with any acquisitions, we may acquire liabilities or defects such as legal claims, including those not identified during due diligence, such as third-party liability and other tort claims; claims for breach of contract; employment-related claims; environmental, health and safety liabilities,
 
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conditions or damage; permitting, regulatory or other compliance with law issues; liability for hazardous materials; or trade liabilities. If we acquire any of these liabilities, and they are not adequately covered by insurance or an enforceable indemnity or similar agreement from a creditworthy counterparty, we may be responsible for significant
out-of-pocket
expenditures. In connection with any divestitures, we may incur liabilities for breaches of representations and warranties or failure to comply with operating covenants under any agreement for a divestiture. In addition, we may indemnify a counterparty in a divestiture for certain liabilities of the subsidiary or operations subject to the divestiture transaction. These liabilities, if they materialize, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, any future acquisition could be financed by additional indebtedness or raising equity, which could increase leverage or result in dilution to our existing stockholders, as applicable, and impact our ability to access capital in the future. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Indebtedness.”
The sale of our products is seasonal and subject to weather-related impacts that make our operating results subject to fluctuations.
The sale of our products is seasonal and subject to weather-related impacts as a result of the dependence of our customers on suitable weather to engage in construction, maintenance and renovation and improvement projects. Although weather patterns affect our operating results throughout the year, adverse weather and shorter daylight hours historically have reduced construction and maintenance and repair activity in the first and fourth fiscal quarters. As a result, our net sales are typically higher during the second and third fiscal quarters and lower during the first and fourth fiscal quarters due to reduced construction activity during the winter, especially in geographic regions that experience such seasonality such as the northern geographic regions. We anticipate that fluctuations from period to period will continue in the future. To the extent that tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, severe storms, floods, other natural disasters or similar extreme weather events occur in the geographic regions in which we operate, our business may be adversely affected. For example, suppliers and other parties with whom we do business may be able to invoke certain force majeure contractual provisions in our agreements with them as a result of natural disasters or other similar extreme weather events. In addition, disruptions caused by natural disasters or similar extreme weather events may affect our ability to both maintain key products in inventory and deliver products to our customers on a timely basis, which may in turn adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. For example, operations at certain plants and facilities located in Texas which produce resin, a raw material used in the production of the PVC pipe that we purchase from suppliers, were temporarily shut down as a result of the winter storms of 2021, which caused supply chain disruptions and PVC pipe shortages, which in turn drove product cost increases. As a result of the combined impact of
COVID-19
on the global economy, hurricanes in the second half of 2020, the winter storms of 2021 in Texas and supply and demand dynamics, we estimate that we have experienced an approximately 112% increase in PVC pipe costs in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Any material shortage of products in the market as a result of natural disasters or similar extreme weather events can negatively impact our net sales, and we may not be able to offset our product costs via corresponding price increases. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Factors Affecting Our Business—Seasonality.”
Our industry and the markets in which we operate are fragmented and highly competitive, and increased competitive pressures, including the pressure to consolidate, could adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The markets in which we operate are fragmented and highly competitive. Competition varies depending on product line, type of customer and geographic area. We have only one major national
 
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competitor, but we also face competition from regional and local competitors and a limited number of manufacturers who sell directly to large customers within our customer base. Except for us and the one national competitor, which we estimate to have approximately 16% of the total market share of our addressable market, we believe that no other single competitor in our industry accounts for greater than approximately 3% of total market share. Any failure to compete with our national, regional or local competitors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Recently, wholesale and distribution businesses in other industry sectors have been disrupted by the arrival of new competitors with lower-cost transactional business models or new technologies to aggregate demand away from incumbents. There has also been some consolidation within our industry as customers are increasingly aware of the total costs of fulfillment and of the need to have consistent sources of supply at multiple locations. This consolidation could cause our industry to become more competitive as greater economies of scale are achieved by competitors, or as competitors with new lower cost transactional business models are able to operate with lower prices. We believe these customer needs could result in fewer distributors as the remaining distributors become larger and more capable of being consistent sources of supply. In addition, consolidation could make it more difficult for us to maintain operating margins and could also increase competition for our potential acquisition targets and result in higher purchase price multiples.
We may lose business to competitors through the competitive bidding process, which could adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
A portion of municipal infrastructure work is awarded through competitive bidding processes in which municipalities or contractors serving municipalities compare estimates from multiple distributors. The procurement process for this work is based in part on price and the acceptance of certain risks, including risks related to fixed-price contracts and cost-overruns. We may lose business to lower-cost competitors from price-sensitive customers who do not appropriately value our sales reach, technical knowledge, broad product portfolio, customer service and project planning and delivery capabilities. In addition, increased competition from other market participants may cause us, or our contractor clients bidding for such contracts, to not be successful in obtaining or renewing these contracts. Our inability to replace a significant number of municipal contracts lost through competitive bidding processes with other revenue sources within a reasonable time could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The development of alternatives to distributors of our products in the supply chain could cause a decrease in our net sales and operating results and limit our ability to grow our business.
Our customers could begin purchasing more of their product needs directly from manufacturers, which could result in decreases in our net sales and earnings. Our suppliers could also invest in increasing their capacity to expand their own local sales force and sell more products directly to our customers, which could result in a decrease in our net sales. Suppliers can often sell their products at lower prices and maintain higher gross margins on their product sales than we can. For example, multiple municipalities may outsource their entire waterworks systems to a single company, thereby increasing such company’s leverage in the marketplace and its ability to buy directly from suppliers. We intend to compete for these larger municipal projects, but there can be no guarantee that our efforts will be successful or that we will be able to complete any such projects within the anticipated budget or timeline.
 
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If we are unable to hire, engage and retain key personnel, including sales representatives, qualified branch, district and regional managers and senior management, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
We are dependent, in part, on our continued ability to hire, engage and retain key associates, including sales representatives, qualified branch, district and regional managers and senior management, at our operations across the United States. We rely upon experienced managerial, sales and support personnel to effectively manage our business and to successfully promote our wide range of products. We are primarily organized locally in branches and districts to allow our operations to respond to changes in local markets. As a result, our branch and district managers have a great deal of control over local operations. We also rely upon our national and regional teams of technical experts to provide insights on complex projects. If we are unable to attract and retain qualified branch and district managers or technical experts, we could be unable to respond to changes in local markets or developments in our projects in a timely manner, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Additionally, our operations depend on the continued efforts of our senior management. Our senior management team has substantial experience and expertise in our industry and has made significant contributions to our growth and success. The loss of their services could limit our ability to grow our business and cause disruptions in our operations.
If we fail to identify, develop and maintain relationships with a sufficient number of qualified suppliers or our exclusive or restrictive supplier distribution rights are terminated, our ability to timely and efficiently access products that meet our standards for quality could be adversely affected or we may experience an increase in the costs of our products that could reduce our overall profitability.
We buy our products and supplies from suppliers that manufacture and source products from the United States and abroad. We enter into agreements with many of our suppliers that provide us with exclusive or restrictive distribution rights, limiting our competitors’ ability to source materials from such suppliers. Our ability to identify and develop relationships with qualified suppliers and enter into exclusive or restrictive distribution rights agreements with suppliers who can satisfy our standards for quality and our need to access products and supplies in a timely and efficient manner is a significant challenge. In fiscal 2020, our top supplier accounted for approximately 9% of our product expenditures. Our top ten largest suppliers accounted for approximately 42% of our total purchases in fiscal 2020. Any failure to maintain our relationship with any of our top ten largest suppliers, or a failure to replace any such supplier that is lost, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We may be required to replace a supplier if their products do not meet our quality or safety standards. In addition, our suppliers could discontinue selling products at any time for reasons that may or may not be in our control or the suppliers’ control, including shortages of raw materials, environmental and social supply chain issues, labor disputes or weather conditions. Disruptions in transportation lines, such as the March 2021 blockage of the Suez Canal and the adverse impact to the global shipping industry, may also cause global supply chain issues that affect us or our suppliers. Global economic conditions, such as those stemming from the
COVID-19
pandemic, may also result in global supply chain issues that adversely impact our access to products and supplies. See “—The
COVID-19
pandemic has had, and could continue to have, an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.” We generally have multiple sources of supply, however, in some cases, materials are provided by a single supplier. The loss of, or substantial decrease in the availability of, products from our suppliers, or the loss of a key supplier, temporarily or permanently, could result in a material shortage of products in the market, which could lead to rapid price escalations that we may be unable to offset by our prices to our customers. When
 
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supply chain issues are later resolved and prices return to normal levels, we may be required to reduce the prices at which we sell our products to our customers in order to remain competitive in our markets. In addition, even where these risks do not materialize, we may incur costs as we prepare contingency plans to address such risks. Our operating results and inventory levels could suffer if we are unable to promptly replace a supplier who is unwilling or unable to satisfy our requirements with a supplier providing similar products. In addition, our suppliers’ ability to deliver products may also be affected by raw material and commodity cost volatility or financing constraints caused by credit market conditions, which could materially and negatively impact our net sales and operating costs, at least until alternate sources of supply are arranged.
Additionally, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected by our inability to continue sourcing products from our suppliers. Although we seek to have alternate sources and recover increases in input costs through price increases in our products, shortages, supply chain interruptions or regulatory changes or other governmental actions could result in the need to change suppliers or incur cost increases that cannot, in the short term, or in some cases even in the long term, be offset by our prices.
Our operating results are sensitive to the availability and cost of freight and energy, which is important in the transport of our products.
Our operating costs increase when freight or energy costs rise. During periods of increasing freight and energy costs, we might not be able to fully recover our operating cost increases through price increases without reducing demand for our products. The cost of fuel is largely unpredictable and has fluctuated significantly in recent years. Fuel availability, as well as pricing, is also impacted by political and economic factors that are beyond our control.
In addition, we are dependent on third-party freight carriers to transport some of our products. Our access to third-party freight carriers is not guaranteed, and we may be unable to transport our products at economically attractive rates in certain circumstances, particularly in cases of adverse market conditions or disruptions to transportation infrastructure. For example, the U.S. is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professional commercial truck drivers, which has increased freight costs and impacted our suppliers’ ability to deliver products to us and our ability to deliver products on a timely basis. There can be no certainty that such shortage will be addressed in the near-term and we may be unable to secure alternative means of freight transport. Similarly, increasing energy costs (in particular, the cost of fuel) could put a strain on the transportation of materials and products if it forces certain transporters to close. Our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to pass all of the cost increases on to our customers, if we are unable to obtain the necessary energy supplies or if freight carrier capacity in our geographic markets were to decline significantly or otherwise become unavailable.
A significant amount of our net sales are credit sales which are made primarily to customers whose ability to pay is dependent, in part, upon the economic strength of the industry and geographic areas in which they operate.
Approximately 98% of our net sales volume in fiscal 2020 was facilitated through the extension of credit to our customers whose ability to pay is dependent, in part, upon the economic strength of the industry in the areas in which they operate. In some cases, our extension of credit is secured by mechanic liens or surety bonds backed by a surety company, but such security does not guarantee collection. If a customer is unable to pay off our mechanic lien or if such lien is not superior to other lienholders and creditors, we may not be able to recoup our extension of credit. The credit we extend to a customer depends on both the financial strength of the customer and the nature of the project in which the customer is involved. Certain customers may not make payments to us until they receive
 
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payments from their own customers. Supply chain constraints, in part due the
COVID-19
pandemic, may extend project completion dates and ultimately the time until we receive full payment from our customers. The inability of our customers to pay off their credit lines in a timely manner, or at all, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Furthermore, our collections efforts with respect to
non-paying
or slow-paying customers could negatively impact our customer relations going forward. In addition, if our collections process fails to collect money due from a customer, we may be forced to initiate litigation against such customer to compel payment. Any such litigation could be costly, and the outcome would be uncertain.
Because we depend on the creditworthiness of certain of our customers, if the financial condition of our customers declines, our credit risk could increase. Significant contraction in our markets, coupled with tightened credit availability and financial institution credit underwriting standards, could adversely affect certain of our customers. If we experience delays and defaults in client payments and we pay our suppliers before receiving payment from our customers for the related products or services, we could experience a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We may not be able to identify new products and new product lines and integrate them into our distribution network, which could adversely affect our ability to compete.
Our business depends in part on our ability to identify future products and product lines that complement existing products and product lines and that respond to our customers’ needs, as well as our ability to identify and respond promptly to evolving trends in demographics, as well as customer wants, preferences and expectations. We may not be able to compete effectively unless our product selection keeps up with trends in the markets in which we compete, including the need for more localized assortments of our products to appeal to needs in each
end-market,
or trends in new products. As a result, we continually seek to offer products and solutions that allow us to stay at the forefront of the needs of the market for our products and services. The success of new products depends on a variety of factors, including timely and successful product development by our suppliers, market acceptance and demand, competitive response, our ability to manage risks associated with product life cycles, the effective management of inventory and purchase commitments and the availability and cost of raw materials for our suppliers. Some of the foregoing factors are beyond our control and we cannot fully predict the ultimate success of the introduction of new products. For example, water utilities have traditionally been slow adopters of new technology and may not adopt our new products as quickly as we expect. In introducing new products and solutions, any delays, unexpected costs, diversion of resources, loss of key associates, failure of the market to accept the new product or other setbacks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, our expansion into new markets may present competitive, distribution and regulatory challenges that differ from current ones. We may be less familiar with the target customers and may face different or additional risks, as well as increased or unexpected costs, compared to existing operations. Growth into new markets may also bring us into direct competition with companies with whom we have little or no past experience as competitors. To the extent we are reliant upon expansion into new geographic, industry and product markets for growth and do not meet the new challenges posed by such expansion, our future sales growth could be negatively impacted, our operating costs could increase, and our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
 
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We are subject to inventory management risks. Insufficient inventory may result in lost sales opportunities or delayed revenue, while excess inventory may negatively impact our gross margin.
We balance the need to maintain inventory levels that are sufficient to ensure competitive lead times against the risk of inventory obsolescence due to changing customer or consumer requirements and fluctuating commodity prices. If we overestimate demand and purchase too much of a particular product, we face a risk that the price of that product will fall, leaving us with inventory that we cannot sell at normal profit margins or may be forced to scrap. If we underestimate demand and purchase insufficient quantities of products, inventory shortages could result in delayed revenue, loss of sales opportunities, and/or reduced profit margins. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively and materially impacted if either or both of these situations occur frequently or in large volumes.
We could incur significant costs in complying with environmental, health and safety laws or permitting regimes or as a result of satisfying any liability or obligation imposed under such laws or permitting regimes.
Our facilities and operations are subject to a broad range of federal, state and local environmental, health and safety laws, including those relating to the release of hazardous materials into the environment, the management, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes, the investigation and remediation of contamination and the protection of our associates. We have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, capital expenditures in addition to ordinary course costs to comply with applicable current and future environmental, health and safety laws. More stringent federal, state or local environmental rules or regulations could increase our operating costs and expenses. Our failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws may result in fines, penalties, enforcement actions and other sanctions as well as liability for response costs, property damages and personal injuries resulting from releases of, or exposure to, hazardous materials. We could also be held liable for the costs to address contamination at any real property we have ever owned or operated, or used as a storage or disposal site. In addition, changes in, or new interpretations of, existing laws, the discovery of previously unknown contamination, or the imposition of other environmental, health or safety liabilities or obligations in the future, including additional investigation or other obligations with respect to any potential health hazards of our products or business activities, may lead to additional compliance or other costs that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We cannot assure you that any costs relating to future capital and operating expenditures to maintain compliance with environmental, health and safety laws, as well as costs to address contamination or environmental claims, will not exceed any current estimates and reserves or adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, any unanticipated liabilities or obligations arising, for example, out of the discovery of previously unknown conditions or changes in law or enforcement policies, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We are subject to regulation and regulatory change, and our costs of doing business could increase as a result of changes in U.S. federal, state, local or international regulations.
Our operations are principally affected by various statutes, regulations and laws in the U.S. states in which we operate. While we are not engaged in a heavily regulated industry, we are subject to various laws applicable to businesses generally, including laws affecting land usage, zoning, the environment, health and safety, transportation, labor and employment practices, competition, immigration and other matters. Additionally, building codes may affect the products our customers are
 
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allowed to use, and consequently, changes in building codes may affect the saleability of our products. In addition, changes to U.S. federal, state and local tax laws and regulations could have a material impact on us. See “Business—Regulation.” In addition, we export certain of our products to different jurisdictions outside of the United States, and the shipment of goods across international borders is subject to extensive trade laws and regulations. The laws and regulations concerning export activity, recordkeeping and reporting, export control and economic sanctions are complex and constantly changing, and we cannot provide assurance that we will not incur material costs or liabilities in connection with these or other regulatory requirements.
We deliver products to many of our customers through our own fleet of vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation (the “DOT”) regulates our operations in domestic interstate commerce. We are subject to various requirements governing interstate operations prescribed by the DOT, including safety regulations and other rules, including, for example, the DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) Program, which imposes certain requirements to increase DBE participation in
DOT-assisted
projects and contracts. Vehicle dimensions and driver hours of service also remain subject to both federal and state regulation. More restrictive limitations on vehicle weight and size and trailer length and configuration could increase our costs. Furthermore, commercial driver’s licensing requirements imposed by states or local governments could limit the availability of qualified drivers to transport our products, which could also increase our costs. If we are unable to pass these cost increases on to our customers, it would reduce our gross margins, increase our selling, general and administrative expenses and reduce our net income.
In addition, many of our municipal water products and infrastructure customers are regulated by federal and state government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state public utility commissions. These agencies could change the way in which they interpret current regulations and may impose additional regulations. Further, there may also be new legislation or regulatory change in response to the perceived effects of climate change, which is expected to continue to be the subject of increasing regulatory attention and requirements. Changes in environmental and climate change laws or regulations, including laws relating to greenhouse gas emissions, could lead to new or additional investment in product designs that could increase our environmental compliance expenditures. These changes could have a material adverse effect on our customers and the profitability of the services they provide, which could reduce demand for our services or our products and could further subject us to additional costs and restrictions, including increased energy, compliance and product costs.
We cannot predict whether future developments in law and regulations will affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows in a negative manner. Similarly, we cannot assess whether we will be successful in meeting future demands of regulatory agencies in a manner which will not materially adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The nature of our business exposes us to product liability, construction defect and warranty claims and other litigation and legal proceedings.
From time to time, we are involved in litigation and other legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business related to a range of matters, including, without limitation, environmental, contract, employment claims, product liability, construction defect and warranty claims. We rely on manufacturers and other suppliers to provide us with most of the products we sell and distribute. However, as a distributor, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability and other claims in the event that the use of the products we have distributed in the past or may in the future distribute is alleged to have resulted in economic loss, personal injury or property damage or violated environmental, health or safety or other laws. In addition, we fabricate and install certain products,
 
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either internally or through third parties, which may increase our exposure to product liability claims. We cannot predict with certainty whether or how we may become liable under environmental and product liability statutes, rules, regulations and case law. In particular, we have been and continue to be subject to claims related to asbestos containing products, including for claims relating to products sold by businesses prior to being acquired by us. Asbestos-related claims have not historically had a material impact on our financial position or results of operations, but there can be no guarantee that any such claims will not have a material impact on us in the future. See “Business—Legal Proceedings.”
We also may, from time to time, be involved in government inquiries, investigations and proceedings. We cannot predict with certainty the outcomes of these inquiries, investigations and proceedings. The outcome of some of these events and other contingencies could require us to take, or refrain from taking, actions which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows, such as requiring us to pay substantial amounts of money. Additionally, defending against these lawsuits and proceedings may involve significant expense and diversion of management’s attention and resources from other matters.
In addition, we own and operate a fleet of distribution vehicles and therefore face the risk of traffic accidents. We may incur liability in connection with these activities. The amount of any such liability in the future could be significant and may materially and adversely impact our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Although we currently maintain insurance, including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation, automobile and product/general liability coverage, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain such insurance on acceptable terms in the future, if at all, or that any such insurance will provide adequate protection against potential liabilities. Additionally, we do not carry insurance for all categories of risk that our business may encounter (including asbestos claims for which insurance is not attainable). Any significant liability that is uninsured or not fully insured may require us to pay substantial amounts. There can be no assurance that any current or future claims will not materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We provide medical coverage to some of our associates through a self-insured preferred provider organization. Though we believe that we have adequate insurance coverage in excess of self-insured retention levels, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected if the number and severity of insurance claims increases.
Further, while we seek indemnification against potential liability for product liability claims from relevant parties, including, but not limited to, manufacturers and suppliers, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to recover under such indemnification claims. Product liability claims can be expensive to defend and can divert the attention of management and other personnel for significant time periods, regardless of the ultimate outcome. An unsuccessful product liability defense could be highly costly and accordingly result in a decline in net sales and/or profitability. In addition, even if we are successful in defending any claim relating to the products we distribute, claims of this nature could negatively impact customer confidence in our products and us.
Failure to achieve and maintain a high level of product quality as a result of our suppliers’ or manufacturers’ mistakes or inefficiencies could damage our reputation and negatively impact our revenue and results of operations.
To continue to be successful, we must continue to preserve, grow and capitalize on the value of our brand in the marketplace. Reputational value is based in large part on perceptions of subjective qualities. Even an isolated incident, such as a high-profile product recall, or the aggregate effect of
 
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individually insignificant incidents, can erode trust and confidence, particularly if such incident or incidents result in adverse publicity, governmental investigations or litigation, and as a result, could tarnish our brand and lead to a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In particular, product quality issues as a result of our suppliers’ or manufacturers’ acts or omissions could negatively impact customer confidence in our brands and our products. As we do not have direct control over the quality of the products manufactured or supplied by such third-party suppliers, we are exposed to risks relating to the quality of the products we distribute. If our product offerings do not meet applicable safety standards or customers’ expectations regarding safety or quality, or are alleged to have quality issues or to have caused personal injury or other damage, we could experience lower revenue and increased costs and be exposed to legal, financial and reputational risks, as well as governmental enforcement actions. In addition, actual, potential or perceived product safety concerns could result in costly product recalls.
We seek to enter into contracts with suppliers which provide for indemnification from any costs associated with the provision of defective products. However, there can be no assurance that such contractual rights will be obtained or adequate, or that related indemnification claims will be successfully asserted by us.
Any difficulties with, or interruptions of, our fabrication services could delay our output of products and harm our relationships with our customers.
Any difficulties with, or interruptions of, our fabrication service operations could delay our output of products and harm our relationships with our customers. Although the majority of our overall product offerings relate to distribution for which we engage in no significant manufacturing, we do perform light fabrication services for certain fire protection and fusible piping products, which accounted for less than 5% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 and which we believe are products with significant opportunities for growth. If our fabrication processes fail, we may fail to perform on our contracts with our customers unless we are able to obtain comparable products or services in a timely and cost-effective manner. If we are unable to fabricate certain products or find suitable replacements for them, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We are subject to certain safety and labor risks associated with the distribution of our products.
As of January 31, 2021, we employed approximately 3,700 associates in total, a significant percentage of whom work at our branch locations. Our business involves transporting industrial water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection products and operating heavy machinery such as forklifts and tractor trailers, and there is a risk that an accident or death could occur in one of our facilities. We operate a large fleet of trucks and other vehicles and therefore face the risk of traffic accidents. The outcome of any personal injury, wrongful death or other litigation is difficult to assess or quantify and the cost to defend litigation can be significant. As a result, the costs to defend any action or the potential liability resulting from any such accident or death or arising out of any other litigation, and any negative publicity associated therewith or negative effects on associate morale, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, any accident could result in product distribution delays, which could negatively affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, work stoppages and other disruptions due to labor disputes may negatively affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. As of January 31, 2021, approximately 100 of our associates were covered by collective bargaining agreements. The collective
 
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bargaining agreements for 45 of these associates expire in 2022. The number of our associates covered under collective bargaining agreements could increase in the future. A work stoppage or other interruption of production could occur at our facilities as a result of disputes under existing collective bargaining agreements with labor unions or in connection with negotiations of new collective bargaining agreements, as a result of supplier financial distress, or for other reasons.
An impairment of goodwill, intangible assets or other long-lived assets could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
Acquisitions frequently result in the recording of goodwill and other intangible or long-lived assets. As of October 31, 2021, goodwill and amortizing intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization, represented 34.6% and 20.5%, respectively, of our total assets. Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized and are subject to impairment testing at least annually using a fair value-based approach. Future events, such as declines in our cash flow projections or customer demand, may cause impairments of our goodwill or long-lived assets, including intangible assets, based on factors such as the price of our common stock, projected cash flows, assumptions used, control premiums or other variables. In addition, if we divest long-lived assets at prices below their asset value, we must write them down to fair value resulting in long-lived asset impairment charges, which could adversely affect our financial position or results of operations. We cannot accurately predict the amount and timing of any impairment of assets, and, in the future, we may be required to take additional goodwill or other asset impairment charges. Any such
non-cash
charges could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
Changes in tariffs and other trade restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
If significant tariffs or other restrictions are placed on foreign imports by the United States or any related counter-measures are taken by impacted foreign countries, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We may not be able to pass any resulting price increase on to our customers, and even if we are able to pass along such price increases, we may face decreased demand for our products and we may lose customers. Conversely, if significant tariffs or other restrictions are removed on foreign imports by the United States, we may be forced to lower the prices we charge our customers for our products in order to remain competitive in our markets, which could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
During fiscal 2018, the U.S. imposed tariffs on certain imports, including a 10% tariff on steel, that have and may continue to impact the price for products that we purchase. In May 2019, the U.S. also increased tariff rates on certain products imported from China to 25%. These tariffs have increased prices for procuring certain of our products, including imported steel products, and have led domestic sellers to respond with market-based increases. In response, certain other countries have proposed responsive tariffs or other trade restrictions on U.S. products. On December 13, 2019, however, the United States and China each confirmed that the two countries had reached a ‘‘Phase One’’ deal in the ongoing trade war, resulting in the signing of an economic and trade agreement on December 15, 2019 between the United States and China, which went into effect in January 2020. However, given the limited scope of the Phase One agreement, concerns over the stability of bilateral trade relations remain. The transition in the U.S. presidential administration following the 2020 election has resulted in additional uncertainty regarding the future of U.S. trade relations. At this time, there is no assurance that a broader trade agreement will be successfully negotiated between the United States and China to reduce or eliminate the existing tariffs.
It remains unclear what additional actions, if any, will be taken by the United States or other governments with respect to international trade agreements, the imposition or removal of tariffs on
 
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goods imported into the United States, the creation or removal of barriers to trade, tax policy related to international commerce, or other trade matters. The current tariffs and trade restrictions, along with any additional tariffs and restrictions that may be implemented by the United States or other countries in the future, may result in further increased prices, decreased available supply of steel and other materials used in our business and worsened economic conditions affecting the market for our products and services more broadly. As a result, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be materially and adversely affected.
Because we operate our business through highly dispersed locations across the United States, our operations may be materially adversely affected by inconsistent practices and the operating results of individual branches may vary.
We operate our business through a network of highly dispersed locations throughout the United States, supported by executives and services from our headquarters, with local branch management retaining responsibility for
day-to-day
operations and adherence to applicable local laws. Our operating structure could make it difficult for us to coordinate procedures across our operations in a timely manner or at all. Our branches may require significant oversight and coordination from headquarters to support their growth. Inconsistent implementation of corporate strategy and policies at the local level could materially and adversely affect our overall profitability, prospects, business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, the operating results of an individual branch may differ from that of another branch for a variety of reasons, including market size, management practices, competitive landscape, regulatory requirements, and local economic conditions. As a result, certain of our branches may experience higher or lower levels of growth and profitability than other branches.
Interruptions in the proper functioning of our information technology (“IT”) systems, including from cybersecurity threats, could disrupt operations and cause unanticipated increases in costs or decreases in net sales, or both.
Because we use our information systems, including Smart Distributor, PowerScope, Online Advantage, Mobile Advantage and other platforms to, among other things, manage inventories and accounts receivable, make purchasing decisions, prepare project bids, assist our customers and improve our customers’ experience and monitor our results of operations, the proper functioning of our IT systems is critical to the successful operation of our business. Although our IT systems are protected through physical and software safeguards and remote processing capabilities exist, our IT systems and confidential data, or those of our suppliers and customers, are still vulnerable to natural disasters, power losses, unauthorized access (including through any intentional or malicious attacks, whether by a virus or an outsider seeking to compromise our IT systems, or by a rogue associate), telecommunication failures and other problems. If critical IT systems fail, or are otherwise unavailable, our ability to process orders, track credit risk, identify business opportunities, maintain proper levels of inventories, collect accounts receivable and pay expenses and otherwise manage our business would be materially and adversely affected.
Information security risks have generally increased in recent years because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber-attacks. The cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve and presents novel risks and we may become increasingly vulnerable to such risks if we fail to assess and identify cybersecurity risks associated with our operations. A failure in or breach of our operational or information security systems, or those of our third-party service providers, as a result of cyber-attacks or information security breaches has in the past, and could in the future, disrupt our business. For example, during fiscal 2020 a third-party payment processor with which we work experienced a ransomware attack that prevented them from processing check-based payments for us for a period of several weeks. In addition, a cyber-attack or
 
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information security breach could result in the disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, result in legal liability and regulatory action, damage our business relationships and reputation, result in or increase our litigation, remediation, forensic or other costs or cause losses. We may also incur significant administrative and technology costs in implementing and maintaining data security measures to prevent or limit the impact of such incidents. Damage to us or to our suppliers or customers resulting from such incidents could subject us to liability under U.S. state and federal and foreign laws that require us to implement adequate data security and to protect confidential personal data, which could result in increased costs, loss of revenues, settlement costs and/or substantial penalties that may either not be insured or not be fully covered through insurance. As a result, cybersecurity and the continued development and enhancement of the controls and processes designed to protect our systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access remain a priority for us. Although we believe that we have robust information security procedures and other safeguards in place, as cyber threats continue to evolve, we continually assess cyber risks and implement updates to our IT systems. There can be no guarantee that a cyber incident will not occur and that our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows will not be materially and adversely affected by such an incident.
Since the beginning of
the COVID-19 pandemic,
cyber-attacks targeting companies have increased in frequency, scope and potential harm, as cybercriminals deploy a variety of ransomware and other malware, phishing, use the subject of coronavirus
or COVID-19 as
a lure, register new domain names containing wording related to coronavirus
or COVID-19, and
attack newly deployed remote access and teleworking infrastructure.
The COVID-19 pandemic
may also cause an extended period of remote work arrangements which could strain our business continuity plans, introduce operational risk, including, but not limited to, cybersecurity risks, and impair our ability to manage our business. As these strategies continue to evolve, we may not be able to successfully protect our operational and information technology systems and platforms against such threats and we may incur significant costs in the attempt to modify or enhance our protective measures or investigate or remediate any vulnerability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We may need to raise additional capital, and we cannot be sure that additional financing will be available.
To satisfy existing obligations and support the development of our business, we depend on our ability to generate cash flow from operations and to borrow funds. We may require additional financing for liquidity, capital requirements or growth initiatives. We may not be able to obtain financing on terms and at interest rates that are favorable to us or at all. Any inability by us to obtain financing in the future could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, if we were to undertake a substantial acquisition for cash, the acquisition would likely need to be financed in part through additional financing from banks, through offerings of debt or equity securities or through other arrangements. Such acquisition financing might decrease our net income, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin and adversely affect our Net Debt Leverage or other leverage criteria and our credit rating. We cannot assure you that the necessary acquisition financing would be available to us on acceptable terms if and when required.
 
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Our customer relationships are generally governed by purchase orders and
job-specific
customer agreements, as applicable, and not by long-term agreements, and, as a result, such customers have the right to change the terms under which they do business and/or terminate their relationship with us.
Our customer relationships are governed by purchase orders and
job-specific
customer agreements, as applicable, and not by long-term agreements. Consequently, despite the length of our relationships with our customers and our low historical customer turnover rates, there can be no assurance that our customer base will remain stable in the future. If our customers do not renew orders, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively affected.
While a portion of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were made to customers with whom we had contractual relationships, many of these contracts are requirements contracts under which we supply a percentage of a customer’s requirements over a period of time, without any specific commitment by the customer to purchase a particular unit volume. As such, we are not guaranteed any minimum level of net sales under many of our contracts and many of our customers, including some of our largest customers, are under no obligation to continue to purchase products from us.
Moreover, if a customer’s requirements for our products exceed our ability to supply that customer, as has occurred from time to time, we may have a short-term or long-term inability to supply that customer from our own branches and may be required to take other proactive steps in order to fill that customer’s order, which may be at a higher cost to us. Our inability to supply a customer’s specific requirements from our branches could materially and adversely affect our relationship with that customer or increase our operating costs.
Some of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were made to customers that do not have contracts in place and are not contractually obligated to purchase products from us. Our repeat business with respect to these customers largely depends on these customers’ satisfaction with our products and our customer service. At any time these customers can stop purchasing our products from us and cease doing business with us. We cannot be sure that any particular customer will continue to do business with us for any period of time.
A change in vendor terms could adversely affect our income and margins.
The terms on which we purchase products from many of our vendors entitle us to receive a rebate based on the volume of our purchases, a discount or other favorable payment terms. If market conditions change, vendors may adversely change the terms of some or all of these programs. Although these changes would not affect the net recorded costs of products already purchased, they may materially lower our gross margins on products we sell or income we realize in future periods and thereby reduce associated cash flows from operations.
We are subject to risks associated with operating internationally.
Our business operations are subject to a variety of risks associated with exporting products to jurisdictions outside of the United States, including:
 
   
changes in or interpretations of laws or policies that may adversely affect the export of our products and the imposition of inconsistent or contradictory laws or regulations;
 
   
political instability in foreign countries;
 
   
reliance on the U.S. or other governments to authorize us to export products;
 
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conducting business in places where laws, business practices, and customs are unfamiliar or unknown; and
 
   
imposition of tariffs or embargoes, export controls and other trade restrictions.
In addition, we are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and other laws that prohibit improper payments or offers of payments to foreign governments and their officials and political parties by business entities for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our activities in any country in which we deal with governmental clients create the risk of unauthorized payments or offers of payments by one of our associates or contractors that could be in violation of various laws including the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws, even though these parties are not always subject to our control. If we were to fail to comply with the FCPA, other anti-corruption laws, applicable import-export control regulations, data privacy laws or other applicable rules and regulations, we could be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties and the possible loss of export or import privileges, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We occupy most of our facilities under long-term
non-cancelable
leases and we may be unable to renew leases on favorable terms or at all.
Most of our facilities are located in leased premises. Many of our current leases are
non-cancelable
and typically have terms ranging from two to five years, with options to renew for specified periods of time. We believe that leases we enter into in the future will likely be long-term and
non-cancelable
and have similar renewal options. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to renew our current or future leases on favorable terms or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate our business and on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Any deficiencies in our financial reporting or internal controls could adversely affect our business and the trading price of our Class A common stock.
As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal controls. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Beginning with our second annual report following our IPO, we will be required to provide a management report on internal control over financial reporting.
If we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we may not detect errors on a timely basis and our financial statements may be materially misstated. In addition, our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and fraud. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected. Moreover, because we regularly consider and enter into strategic mergers and acquisitions, the integration of businesses may create complexity in our financial systems and internal controls and make them more difficult to manage. Such integration into our internal control system could cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations.
If there are material weaknesses or failures in our ability to meet any of the requirements related to the maintenance and reporting of our internal controls, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which in turn could cause the price of our Class A common stock to decline. Moreover, effective internal controls are necessary to produce reliable financial reports and to prevent fraud. If we have deficiencies in our internal controls, it may negatively
 
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impact our business, financial position, results of operations and reputation. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by the NYSE, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional management attention and which could adversely affect our business.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
Our substantial indebtedness may adversely affect our financial health and our ability to raise additional capital or obtain financing in the future.
As of October 31, 2021, we had total consolidated indebtedness of $1,496.3 million and $183.3 million in outstanding lease commitments. In addition, as of October 31, 2021, after giving effect to $9.0 million of letters of credit issued under the Senior ABL Credit Facility, Opco would have been able to borrow $841.0 million under the Senior ABL Credit Facility, subject to borrowing base availability.
Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences to you. Because of our substantial indebtedness:
 
   
our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, pay dividends and make other distributions or to purchase, redeem or retire capital stock or for general corporate purposes and our ability to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness may be impaired in the future;
 
   
a large portion of our cash flow from operations must be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the funds available to us for other purposes;
 
   
we are exposed to the risk of increased interest rates because a significant portion of our borrowings are at variable rates of interest;
 
   
it may be more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations to our creditors, resulting in possible defaults on, and acceleration of, such indebtedness;
 
   
we may be more vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
 
   
we may be at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors with proportionately less indebtedness or with comparable indebtedness on more favorable terms and, as a result, they may be better positioned to withstand economic downturns;
 
   
our ability to refinance indebtedness may be limited or the associated costs may increase;
 
   
our flexibility to adjust to changing market conditions and ability to withstand competitive pressures could be limited;
 
   
our ability to pay dividends and make other distributions or to purchase, redeem or retire capital stock may be limited; and
 
   
we may be prevented from carrying out capital spending and restructurings that are necessary or important to our growth strategy and efforts to improve our operating margins.
Despite our indebtedness levels, we and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantially more indebtedness, which may increase the risks to our financial condition and results of operations created by our indebtedness.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. The terms of the agreements governing our indebtedness provide our subsidiaries with the flexibility to
 
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incur a substantial amount of indebtedness in the future, which indebtedness may be secured or unsecured. If our subsidiaries are in compliance with certain incurrence ratios set forth in the agreements governing our indebtedness, our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness, which may increase the risks created by our current indebtedness. In addition, after giving effect to $9.0 million of letters of credit issued under the Senior ABL Credit Facility, as of October 31, 2021, Opco would have been able to borrow an additional $841.0 million under the Senior ABL Credit Facility, subject to borrowing base availability. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness.”
The agreements governing our indebtedness restrict our current and future operations and our ability, and the ability of our future subsidiaries, to engage in certain business and financial transactions, and, as a result, may adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The agreements governing our indebtedness contain a number of covenants that limit Opco’s ability and the ability of any of its future restricted subsidiaries to:
 
   
incur additional indebtedness or issue certain preferred shares;
 
   
pay dividends, redeem stock or make other distributions in respect of capital stock;
 
   
repurchase, prepay or redeem subordinated indebtedness;
 
   
make investments;
 
   
create restrictions on the ability of Opco’s restricted subsidiaries to pay dividends to Opco or make other intercompany transfers;
 
   
incur additional liens;
 
   
transfer or sell assets;
 
   
make negative pledges;
 
   
consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of Opco’s assets;
 
   
change the nature of Opco’s business;
 
   
enter into certain transactions with Opco’s affiliates; and
 
   
designate subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries.
In addition, the ABL Credit Agreement requires Opco to comply with a consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio under certain circumstances and contains other covenants customary for asset-based facilities of this nature. Opco’s ability to borrow additional amounts under the Senior ABL Credit Facility depends upon satisfaction of these covenants. Events beyond our control can affect our ability to meet these covenants.
Opco is required to make mandatory prepayments under (a) the Senior ABL Credit Facility, if aggregate outstanding borrowings exceed the then applicable borrowing base or the then effective commitments under the Senior ABL Credit Facility, and (b) the Senior Term Loan Facility, from excess cash flow, asset sale proceeds, insurance recovery proceeds and proceeds from certain debt incurrences, in each case subject to certain limitations and conditions set forth in the agreements governing such facilities. In addition, any future financing arrangements entered into by us may contain similar restrictions. As a result of these covenants and restrictions, we are limited in how we conduct our business, and we may be unable to raise additional debt or equity financing to compete effectively or to take advantage of new business opportunities.
Our failure to comply with our obligations under the agreements governing our indebtedness as described above, as well as others contained in any future debt instruments from time to time, may
 
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result in an event of default under the agreements governing our indebtedness. A default, if not cured or waived, may permit acceleration of our indebtedness. If our indebtedness is accelerated, we cannot be certain that we will have sufficient funds available to pay the accelerated indebtedness or that we will have the ability to refinance the accelerated indebtedness on terms favorable to us or at all. If we are forced to refinance these borrowings on less favorable terms or cannot refinance these borrowings, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
The Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of Holdings and the Tax Receivable Agreements limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness or refinance our existing indebtedness on favorable terms.
The Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of Holdings restricts our ability to incur additional indebtedness or refinance our existing indebtedness in a manner that would materially and adversely affect Holdings’ ability to make tax distributions to holders of Partnership Interests or distributions to us to fund payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements. We may be unable to secure additional financing or refinance our existing indebtedness on favorable terms as a result of such restriction.
In addition, each of the Tax Receivable Agreements requires that any debt document that refinances or replaces our existing indebtedness be no more restrictive on our ability to make payments under each Tax Receivable Agreement than our current indebtedness, unless the CD&R Investors otherwise consent. At the time of any such refinancing or replacing our existing indebtedness, it may not be possible to include such terms in such debt documents, and a result, we may need the CD&R Investors’ consent to complete such refinancing of our existing indebtedness.
An increase in interest rates would increase the cost of servicing our indebtedness and could reduce our profitability, decrease our liquidity and impact our solvency.
Our indebtedness under the Senior ABL Credit Facility bears interest at variable rates and, to the extent LIBOR (as defined in “Description of Certain Indebtedness”) exceeds 0.00%, our indebtedness under the Senior Term Loan Facility bears interest at variable rates. As a result, increases in interest rates could increase the cost of servicing such indebtedness and materially reduce our profitability and cash flows. As of October 31, 2021, assuming all Senior ABL Credit Facility revolving loans were fully drawn and LIBOR exceeded 0.00%, and excluding the impact of any interest rate hedging instruments, each one percentage point change in interest rates would have resulted in an approximately $15.0 million increase in annual interest expense on the Senior ABL Credit Facility and the Senior Term Loan Facility. The impact of such an increase would be more significant for us than it would be for some other companies because of our substantial indebtedness.
Furthermore, the upcoming cessation of the availability of LIBOR may adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced that after December 31, 2021, it would no longer compel banks to submit the rates required to calculate LIBOR. On March 5, 2021, the ICE Benchmark Administration, which administers LIBOR, and FCA announced that all LIBOR settings will either cease to be provided by any administrator, or no longer be representative immediately after December 31, 2021, for all
non-U.S.
dollar LIBOR settings and
one-week
and
two-month
U.S. dollar LIBOR settings, and immediately after June 30, 2023 for the remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR settings (the “LIBOR Announcement”). It is not possible to predict the effect that the LIBOR Announcement, the discontinuation of LIBOR or the establishment of alternative reference rates may have on LIBOR, but financial products with interest rates tied to LIBOR may be adversely affected. Once LIBOR ceases to be published, it is uncertain whether it will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to
 
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LIBOR or what the effect of any such changes in views or alternatives may be on the markets for LIBOR-indexed financial instruments. As of October 31, 2021, $1,496.3 million of our aggregate consolidated indebtedness was indexed to LIBOR.
Changes in our credit ratings and outlook may reduce access to capital and increase borrowing costs.
Our credit ratings are based on a number of factors, including our financial strength and factors outside of our control, such as conditions affecting our industry generally or the introduction of new rating practices and methodologies. The
COVID-19
pandemic could negatively impact our credit ratings and thereby adversely affect our access to capital and cost of capital. We cannot provide assurances that our current credit ratings will remain in effect or that the ratings will not be lowered, suspended or withdrawn entirely by the rating agencies. If rating agencies lower, suspend or withdraw the ratings, the market price or marketability of our securities may be adversely affected. Pressure on the ratings could also arise from higher shareholder payouts or larger acquisitions than we have currently planned that result in increased leverage, or in a deterioration in the metrics used by the rating agencies to assess creditworthiness. In addition, any change in ratings could make it more difficult for us to raise capital on acceptable terms, impact the ability to obtain adequate financing and result in higher interest costs on future financings.
Our ability to generate the significant amount of cash needed to pay interest and principal on our indebtedness and our ability to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness or obtain additional financing depends on many factors beyond our control.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on, or to refinance our obligations under, our indebtedness depends on the financial and operating performance of our subsidiaries, which, in turn, depends on their results of operations, cash flows, cash requirements, financial position and general business conditions and any legal restrictions on the payment of distributions to which they may be subject, many of which may be beyond our control.
We may be unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal and interest on our indebtedness. If our cash flow and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets, seek to obtain additional equity capital or restructure our indebtedness. In the future, our cash flow and capital resources may not be sufficient for payments of interest on and principal of our indebtedness, and such alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations.
The Senior ABL Credit Facility matures on July 27, 2026, and the outstanding borrowings under the Senior Term Loan Facility mature on July 27, 2028. We may be unable to refinance any of our indebtedness prior to maturity, as a result of prepayment penalties or otherwise, or obtain additional financing, particularly because of our substantial indebtedness. In addition, market disruptions, such as those experienced in 2008 and 2009 and more recently in 2020, as well as our indebtedness levels, may increase our cost of borrowing or adversely affect our ability to refinance our obligations as they become due. We may be unable to refinance our indebtedness, at maturity or otherwise, on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to refinance our indebtedness or access additional credit, or if short-term or long-term borrowing costs dramatically increase, our ability to finance current operations and meet our short-term and long-term obligations could be adversely affected.
If Opco cannot make scheduled payments on its indebtedness under the Senior ABL Credit Facility and/or the Senior Term Loan Facility, it will be in default and the lenders under the Senior ABL Credit Facility and/or the Senior Term Loan Facility could terminate their commitments to loan money
 
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or foreclose against the assets securing the borrowings, and Opco could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. Any of these actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
Our principal asset is our direct and indirect ownership interest in Holdings, and, accordingly, we depend on distributions from Holdings and its subsidiaries to pay our taxes and other expenses, including payments under each of the Tax Receivable Agreements. Our subsidiaries’ ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions.
We are a holding company and have no material assets other than our direct and indirect ownership of Holdings. Holdings itself has no operations and no material assets of its own other than its indirect ownership interest in Midco, which is a holding company with no operations and no material assets of its own other than its ownership interest in Opco and Opco GP, the general partner of Opco. As such, we have no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow, and our ability to pay our taxes and operating expenses or declare and pay dividends in the future, if any, will be dependent upon the financial results and cash flows of our current and future subsidiaries, including Opco. There can be no assurance that our subsidiaries will generate sufficient cash flow to distribute funds to us or that applicable state law and contractual restrictions, including covenants in the agreements that govern Opco’s indebtedness, will permit such distributions.
Holdings is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, generally is not subject to any entity-level U.S. federal income tax. Instead, taxable income of Holdings, if any, will be allocated to holders of Partnership Interests, including us. Accordingly, we will generally incur U.S. federal income taxes on our allocable share of any net taxable income of Holdings. In addition, our allocable share of Holdings’ net taxable income will increase over time as the Continuing Limited Partners continue to exchange their Partnership Interests for shares of our Class A common stock. Such increase in our taxable income may increase our tax expenses and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Under the terms of the Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement, Holdings is obligated to make tax distributions to holders of Partnership Interests, including us, to the extent that other distributions made by Holdings are otherwise insufficient to pay the tax liabilities of holders of Partnership Interests. In addition to tax expenses, we also incur expenses related to our operations, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements. Because tax distributions are based on an assumed tax rate, Holdings may be required to make tax distributions that, in the aggregate, could be significant. We intend, as its general partner, to cause Holdings to make cash distributions to the owners of Partnership Interests, including us, in an amount sufficient to (i) fund all or part of their tax obligations in respect of taxable income allocated to them and (ii) cover our operating expenses, including payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreements. However, Holdings’ ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions, such as restrictions on distributions that would either violate any contract or agreement to which Holdings is then a party, including debt agreements, or any applicable law, or that would have the effect of rendering Holdings insolvent. If we do not have sufficient funds to pay taxes or other expenses or to fund our operations, we may have to borrow funds, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition and subject us to various restrictions imposed by any such lenders. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under any Tax Receivable Agreement for any reason, such payments generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid;
provided
,
however
, that nonpayment for a specified period may constitute a material breach of a material obligation under such Tax Receivable Agreement and therefore accelerate payments due under such Tax Receivable Agreement. See
 
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“Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreements” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Limited Partnership Agreement of Holdings.” In addition, if Holdings does not have sufficient funds to make distributions, our ability to declare and pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock will also be restricted or impaired. See “—Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock and This Offering” and “Dividend Policy.”
Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreements, confers certain benefits upon the Continuing Limited Partners and certain Former Limited Partners that will not benefit Class A common stockholders to the same extent as it will benefit Continuing Limited Partners or such Former Limited Partners.
Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreements, confers certain benefits upon Continuing Limited Partners and certain Former Limited Partners that will not benefit the holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent as it will benefit Continuing Limited Partners or such Former Limited Partners. The Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement provides for the payment by us to the exchanging holders of Partnership Interests of 85% of the amount of tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) increases in tax basis or similar tax benefits as a result of exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement (including in connection with this offering), (ii) our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Continuing Limited Partners and in connection with exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement and (iii) our utilization of certain other tax benefits related to our entering into the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement, including tax benefits attributable to payments under the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement. In addition, the Former Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement provides for the payment by us to certain Former Limited Partners or their permitted transferees of 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) the tax attributes of the Partnership Interests we hold in respect of such Former Limited Partners’ interest in us, including such attributes which resulted from such Former Limited Partners’ prior acquisition of ownership interests in Holdings and our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Former Limited Partners and (ii) certain other tax benefits. Although we will retain 15% of the amount of such tax benefits, this and other aspects of our organizational structure may adversely impact the trading market for the Class A common stock. In addition, our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreements, imposes additional compliance costs and require a significant commitment of resources that would not be required of a company with a simpler organizational structure.
The Tax Receivable Agreements require us to make cash payments to the Continuing Limited Partners and certain Former Limited Partners in respect of certain tax benefits to which we may become entitled, and we expect that the payments we will be required to make will be substantial.
Under the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement, we are required to make cash payments to the Continuing Limited Partners or their permitted transferees equal to 85% of the benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) increases in tax basis or similar tax benefits as a result of exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement (including in connection with this offering), (ii) our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Continuing Limited Partners and in connection with exchanges of Partnership Interests for cash or shares of our Class A common stock pursuant to the Exchange Agreement and (iii) our utilization of certain other tax benefits related to our entering into the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable
 
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Agreement, including tax benefits attributable to payments under the Continuing Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement. Under the Former Limited Partner Tax Receivable Agreement, we are required to make cash payments to certain Former Limited Partners or their permitted transferees equal to 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) the tax attributes of the Partnership Interests we hold in respect of such Former Limited Partners’ interest in us, including such attributes which resulted from such Former Limited Partnerships’ prior indirect acquisition of ownership interests in Holdings and our allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in connection with the IPO attributable to the Former Limited Partners and (ii) certain other tax benefits. The amount of the cash payments that we will be required to make under the Tax Receivable Agreements is expected to be significant. Any payments made by us under the Tax Receivable Agreements will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us. Furthermore, our future obligation to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements could make us a less attractive target for an acquisition, particularly in the case of an acquirer that cannot use some or all of the tax benefits that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreements. Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements are not conditioned on any holder’s continued ownership of Partnership Interests or our common stock after this offering.
In connection with the Reorganization Transactions, the Former Limited Partners exchanged their Partnership Interests, together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of Class A common stock of Core & Main. As a result of this exchange, the Company acquired certain tax attributes held by the Former Limited Partners. The Company expects that these tax attributes will reduce future payments to taxing authorities. As such, the Company recorded a payable associated with the Former Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement that represents 85% of these anticipated tax savings. As of October 31, 2021, the Company had recorded a $91.8 million payable to related parties pursuant to the Former Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement.
The actual amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of exchanges by the holders of Partnership Interests, the amount of gain recognized by such holders of Partnership Interests, the amount and timing of the taxable income we generate in the future and the federal tax rates then applicable. Assuming (i) that the Continuing Limited Partners exchanged all of their Partnership Interests at $27.36 per share of our Class A common stock (the closing stock price on October 29, 2021), (ii) no material changes in relevant tax law, (iii) a constant corporate tax rate of 25.1%, which represents a pro forma tax rate that includes a provision for U.S. federal income taxes and assumes the highest statutory rate apportioned to each state and local jurisdiction and (iv) that we earn sufficient taxable income in each year to realize on a current basis all tax benefits that are subject to the Continuing Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement, we would recognize a deferred tax asset (subject to offset with existing deferred tax liabilities) of approximately $836.9 million and a Continuing Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement liability of approximately $711.4 million, payable to the Continuing Limited Partners over the life of the Continuing Limited Partners Tax Receivable Agreement. The full exchange by the Continuing Limited Partners will also increase our deferred tax liability associated with our investment in Holdings by $86.5 million. The foregoing amounts are estimates only and are subject to change.
In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements to Continuing Limited Partners or Former Limited Partners may be accelerated or significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreements.
Each Tax Receivable Agreement provides that upon certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control, nonpayment for a specified period which constitutes a material breach of a material obligation under such Tax Receivable Agreement, or if, at
 
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any time, we elect an early termination of such Tax Receivable Agreement, then our obligations, or our successor’s obligations, under such Tax Receivable Agreement to make payments thereunder would be based on certain assumptions, including an assumption that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize all potential future tax benefits that are subject to such Tax Receivable Agreement.
As a result of the foregoing, (i) we could be required to make payments under such Tax Receivable Agreement that are greater than the specified percentage of the actual benefits we ultimately realize in respect of the tax benefits that are subject to such Tax Receivable Agreement and (ii) if we elect to terminate such Tax Receivable Agreement early, we would be required to make an immediate cash payment equal to the specified percentage of the present value of the anticipated future tax benefits that are the subject of such Tax Receivable Agreement, which payment may be made significantly in advance of the actual realization, if any, of such future tax benefits. Based upon certain assumptions described in greater detail below under “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreements,” we estimate that if we were to exercise our termination right immediately following this offering, the amount of the termination payment to the Former Limited Partners would be approximately $83.1 million and the amount of the termination payment to the Continuing Limited Partners would be approximately $628.3 million. The foregoing numbers are estimates and the actual payments could differ materially based on, among other things, the timing of an early termination election, the discount rate applicable at the time of the early termination election and material changes in relevant tax law. In these situations, our payments under such Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. There can be no assurance that we will be able to fund or finance our payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements.
We will not be reimbursed for any payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreements in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
Our acquisitions of Partnership Interests in connection with the Exchange Agreement are expected to result in increases in our allocable tax basis in the assets of Holdings that otherwise would not have been available to us. These increases in tax basis are expected to reduce the amount of cash tax that we would otherwise have to pay in the future due to increases in depreciation and amortization deductions (for tax purposes). These increases in tax basis may also decrease gain (or increase loss) on future dispositions of certain assets of Holdings to the extent the increased tax basis is allocated to those assets. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) may challenge all or part of these tax basis increases, and a court could sustain such a challenge. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreements.”
Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine, and the IRS or another taxing authority may challenge all or part of the tax basis increases, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. While the actual increase in tax basis, as well as the actual amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivable Agreements, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of exchanges, the price of shares of our Class A common stock at the time of the exchange, the extent to which such exchanges are taxable, future tax rates, and the amount and timing of our income, we expect that, as a result of the size of the increases in the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of Holdings attributable to our interests in Holdings, during the expected term of the Tax Receivable Agreements, the payments that we may make to the Continuing Limited Partners could be substantial.
The payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreements are our obligation and not an obligation of Holdings. In the event any tax benefits initially claimed by us and for which payment has
 
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been made are successfully challenged, such prior payments under the applicable Tax Receivable Agreements will not be reimbursed but any such detriment will generally be taken into account as a reduction in future payments due under the applicable Tax Receivable Agreement. However, we might not determine that we have effectively made an excess cash payment for a number of years following the initial time of such payment and, if any of our tax reporting positions are challenged by a taxing authority, we will not be permitted to reduce any future cash payments under such Tax Receivable Agreement until any such challenge is finally settled or determined. As a result, payments could be made under such Tax Receivable Agreement in excess of the tax savings that we realize in respect of the tax attributes that are the subject of such Tax Receivable Agreement.
If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as a result of our ownership of Holdings, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as currently contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the 1940 Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the 1940 Act if (i) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities or (ii) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We do not believe that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the 1940 Act.
As the general partner of Holdings, we control and operate Holdings. On that basis, we believe that our interest in Holdings is neither an “investment security” as that term is used in the 1940 Act nor a “security” based on the test under applicable case law. However, if we were to cease participation in the management of Holdings, our interest in Holdings could be deemed an “investment security” for purposes of the 1940 Act.
We and Holdings intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock and This Offering
The market price of our Class A common stock may be volatile and could decline after this offering.
Volatility in the market price of our Class A common stock may prevent you from being able to sell your shares at or above the price you paid for your shares. The market price of our Class A common stock may fluctuate significantly. Among the factors that could affect our stock price are:
 
   
industry, regulatory or general market conditions;
 
   
domestic and international economic factors unrelated to our performance;
 
   
new regulatory pronouncements and changes in regulatory guidelines;
 
   
lawsuits, enforcement actions and other claims by third parties or governmental authorities;
 
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actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly operating results;
 
   
lack of research coverage and reports by industry analysts or changes in any securities analysts’ estimates of our financial performance;
 
   
action by institutional stockholders or other large stockholders, including future sales of our Class A common stock;
 
   
failure to meet any guidance given by us or any change in any guidance given by us, or changes by us in our guidance practices;
 
   
announcements by us of significant impairment charges;
 
   
speculation in the press or investment community;
 
   
investor perception of us or our industry;
 
   
changes in market valuations or earnings of similar companies;
 
   
the impact of short selling or the impact of a potential “short squeeze” resulting from a sudden increase in demand for our Class A common stock;
 
   
announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions, dispositions or strategic partnerships;
 
   
war, terrorist acts, epidemic disease or pandemic disease, including
COVID-19;
 
   
any future sales of our Class A common stock or other securities;
 
   
additions or departures of key personnel; and
 
   
misconduct or other improper actions of our associates.
In particular, we cannot assure you that you will be able to resell your shares at or above the public offering price. Stock markets have experienced extreme volatility in recent years that has been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our Class A common stock. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, class action litigation has often been instituted against the affected company. Any litigation of this type brought against us could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
An active, liquid trading market for our common stock may not be sustained.
Although our Class A common stock is currently listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CNM,” an active trading market for our shares may not be sustained. Accordingly, if an active trading market for our Class A common stock is not maintained, the liquidity of our Class A common stock, your ability to sell your shares of our Class A common stock when desired and the prices that you may obtain for your shares of Class A common stock will be adversely affected.
Future sales of shares by us or our existing stockholders could cause our stock price to decline.
Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock in the public market following this offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.
 
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Upon the completion of this offering, we will have a total of 167,522,403 shares of Class A common stock outstanding (or 168,646,966 if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) and 78,398,141 additional shares of Class A common stock issuable (or 77,273,578 if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) upon exchange of Partnership Interests (with automatic retirement of an equal number of shares of Class B common stock). Of the outstanding shares of Class A common stock, all of the Class A common stock shares sold in our IPO are, and all of the Class A common stock shares to be sold in this offering will be, immediately tradable without restriction under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), except for any shares held by “affiliates,” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act (“Rule 144”). The remaining 107,406,124 shares of our Class A common stock (or 105,530,687 shares of Class A common stock, assuming full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) that will be outstanding immediately after the completion of this offering will be restricted securities within the meaning of Rule 144 under the Securities Act, but will be eligible for resale subject to applicable volume, means of sale, holding period and other limitations of Rule 144 under the Securities Act or pursuant to an exemption from registration under Rule 701 under the Securities Act, or “Rule 701,” subject to the
lock-up
agreements to be entered into by us, the Original Limited Partners and our executive officers and directors.
Additionally, pursuant to the terms of the Exchange Agreement and subject to certain restrictions set forth therein and as described elsewhere in this prospectus, the Continuing Limited Partners have the right to exchange their Partnership Interests, together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of our Class B common stock, for shares of our Class A common stock on a
one-for-one
basis or, at the election of a majority of the disinterested members of our board of directors, for cash from a substantially concurrent public offering or private sale (based on the price of our Class A common stock sold in such public offering or private sale), net of any underwriting discounts and commissions, for each Partnership Interest exchanged, subject to customary conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends, reclassifications and other similar transactions. The Exchange Agreement also provides that in connection with any such exchange, to the extent that Holdings has, since consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and our IPO, made distributions to the applicable Continuing Limited Partner that are proportionately lesser or greater than the distributions made to us, on a pro rata basis, the number of shares of Class A common stock to be issued or cash to be paid to such Continuing Limited Partner will be adjusted to take into account the amount of such discrepancy that is allocable to the Partnership Interests, and Class B common stock, subject to such exchange. We expect to cause Holdings to make overall distributions to its partners in such a manner as generally to limit increases to the number of shares of Class A common stock to be issued or cash to be paid to exchanging Continuing Limited Partners in connection with the adjustment described in the preceding sentence. The amount of future partner distributions and the number of shares issuable pursuant to such provision of the Exchange Agreement will fluctuate based on a number of factors, including our financial performance, the actual tax rates applied to the applicable Continuing Limited Partners (or their permitted transferees), any changes in tax rates or tax laws and future share prices for our Class A common stock. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Factors Affecting Our Business—CARES Act.” Unless our board of directors elects to settle these obligations in cash pursuant to the terms of the Exchange Agreement, we expect that these arrangements will result in a substantial number of additional shares of Class A common stock being issued to the Continuing Limited Partners. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Exchange Agreement.”
We are also party to the Registration Rights Agreement (as defined in “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Registration Rights Agreements”), pursuant to which the shares of our Class A common stock and our other equity securities held by the CD&R Investors will be eligible for resale (including shares of our Class A common stock issuable upon exchange of Partnership Interests
 
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held by CD&R Waterworks Holdings directly or indirectly through a wholly-owned subsidiary), subject to certain limitations set forth therein. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Registration Rights Agreements.”
On July 23, 2021, we also filed a registration statement on Form
S-8
under the Securities Act to register the shares of Class A common stock to be issued under our equity compensation plans. As a result, all shares of Class A common stock acquired upon exercise of stock options and other securities convertible or exchangeable into shares of Class A common stock granted under our equity compensation plans will be freely tradable under the Securities Act, subject to the terms of the
lock-up
agreements, unless purchased by our affiliates. Furthermore, as of the date of this prospectus, there are (i) common units of Management Feeder, which correspond to an equivalent number of Partnership Interests in Holdings that may be exchanged for 10,938,597 shares of Class A common stock in the aggregate, which will be issuable upon exchange of such Partnership Interests (together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock held by Management Feeder), (ii) unvested common units of Management Feeder, that are subject to certain time-vesting provisions, which correspond to an equivalent number of Partnership Interests in Holdings that may be exchanged for 3,060,771 shares of Class A common stock in the aggregate, which will be issuable upon exchange of such Partnership Interests (together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock held by Management Feeder) and (iii) stock appreciation rights of Holdings, denominated in Class A common stock, pursuant to which 633,683 shares of Class A common stock will be issuable, at a weighted average base price of $5.00 per share, of which stock appreciation rights representing 285,159 shares of Class A common stock are vested and exercisable after consummation of this offering. See “Organizational Structure—Management Feeder and Unit Appreciation Rights” for more information and “Shares Available for Future Sale” for a more detailed description of the restrictions on selling shares of our Class A common stock after this offering.
In connection with our IPO, we, the Original Limited Partners and our executive officers and directors entered into
lock-up
agreements under which we and they agreed not to, among other things and subject to certain exceptions, offer, sell, contract to sell, pledge, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, engage in any hedging or similar transaction or arrangement, lend or otherwise transfer or dispose of, directly or indirectly, any of our securities that are substantially similar to the securities offered hereby, without the prior written consent of, for the
two-day
period following notice of any request to release or waive the
lock-up
restrictions, Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (the “IPO Representatives”), and thereafter, any two of the three IPO Representatives, for a period of 180 days after July 22, 2021. In connection with this offering, the IPO Representatives have agreed to release the restrictions under the
lock-up
agreements that were executed in connection with the IPO with respect to up to 20,000,000 shares (or up to 23,000,000 shares including the underwriters option to purchase additional shares) of our Class A common stock in this offering that are held by the selling stockholders, which includes shares owned by entities affiliated with certain of our directors, provided that the release of shares of our Class A common stock held by the selling stockholders is limited to the shares actually sold in this offering. See “Underwriting.”
Additionally, in connection with this offering, the selling stockholders have entered into
lock-up
agreements under which they have agreed not to, among other things and subject to certain exceptions, offer, sell, contract to sell, pledge, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, engage in any hedging or similar transaction or arrangement, lend or otherwise transfer or dispose of, directly or indirectly, any of our securities that are substantially similar to the securities offered hereby, without the prior written consent of, for the
two-day
period following notice of any request to release or waive the
lock-up
restrictions, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (the “Representatives”), and thereafter, any two of the three Representatives, for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus.
 
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Following the expiration of this
90-day
lock-up
period and this offering (assuming no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock), 185,804,625 shares of our Class A common stock (including shares issuable upon exchange of Partnership Interests, together with the retirement of a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock), will be eligible for future sale, subject to the applicable volume, manner of sale, holding period and other limitations of Rule 144 or pursuant to an exemption from registration under Rule 701. See “Shares Available for Future Sale” for a discussion of the shares of Class A common stock that may be sold into the public market in the future. In addition, the Original Limited Partners may distribute shares that they hold to their investors who themselves may then sell into the public market following the expiration of the
lock-up
period. Such sales may not be subject to the volume, manner of sale, holding period and other limitations of Rule 144. Furthermore, the Original Limited Partners have the right to require us to register shares of Class A common stock for resale in certain circumstances. As resale restrictions end, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline if the holders of those shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our Class A common stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our Class A common stock depends in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts may publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts that covers our Class A common stock downgrades our stock or publishes misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of the analysts ceases coverage of our Class A common stock or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our Class A common stock could decrease, which could cause our Class A common stock price or trading volume to decline.
Fulfilling our obligations incident to being a public company, including compliance with the Exchange Act and the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, will be expensive and time-consuming, and any delays or difficulties in satisfying these obligations could have a material adverse effect on our future results of operations and our stock price.
In connection with the completion of our IPO, we became a public company. As a public company, we are subject to the reporting, accounting and corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) that apply to issuers of listed equity, which impose certain significant compliance requirements, costs and obligations upon us. The changes necessitated by being a publicly listed company and ongoing compliance with these rules and regulations require a significant commitment of additional resources and management oversight, which increases our operating costs and could divert our management and personnel from other business concerns. Further, to continue to comply with the requirements of being a public company, we may need to undertake various actions, such as implementing new internal controls and procedures and hiring additional accounting or internal audit staff or other associates to help meet our obligations.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires us, among other things, to maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight.
In addition, our internal resources and personnel may in the future be insufficient to avoid accounting errors, and our auditors may identify deficiencies, significant deficiencies or material
 
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weaknesses in our internal control environment in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered implementing required new or improved controls could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could also adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the NYSE. As a public company, we are required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose, but we are not required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until our second Annual Report on
Form 10-K.
Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until we cease to be a
non-accelerated
filer. We will be required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our Annual Report on Form
10-K
for fiscal 2022. At such time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed or operating. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The expenses associated with being a public company include increases in auditing, accounting and legal fees and expenses, investor relations expenses, increased directors’ fees and director and officer liability insurance costs, registrar and transfer agent fees and listing fees, as well as other expenses. As a public company, we are required, among other things, to define and expand the roles and the duties of our board of directors and its committees and institute more comprehensive compliance and investor relations functions. Most members of our management team have limited experience managing a publicly traded company, interacting with public company investors and complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage us as a public company that is subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws and the continuous scrutiny of securities analysts and investors. These obligations and constituents require significant attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the
day-to-day
management of our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Failure to comply with the requirements of being a public company could potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities.
In addition, changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time consuming. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us, and there could be a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
 
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Following the completion of this offering, the CD&R Investors will continue to control us and may have conflicts of interest with other stockholders.
Following the completion of this offering, the CD&R Investors will beneficially own shares of our common stock representing approximately 69.9% of the combined voting power of our common stock through its ownership of Class A common stock and Class B common stock. As a result, the CD&R Investors will continue to have sufficient voting power without the consent of our other stockholders to be able to control all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, which could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock.
Because the CD&R Investors’ interests may differ from your interests, actions the CD&R Investors take as our controlling stockholders may not be favorable to you. For example, the concentration of voting power held by the CD&R Investors could delay, defer or prevent a change of control of us, impede a merger, takeover or other business combination that another stockholder may otherwise view favorably or cause us to enter into transactions or agreements that are not in the best interests of all stockholders. Other potential conflicts could arise, for example, over matters such as associate retention or recruiting, or our dividend policy.
Furthermore, as long as the CD&R Investors continue to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 50% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock, the CD&R Investors will be able to determine the outcome of corporate actions requiring stockholder approval, including the election of the members of our board of directors and the approval of significant corporate transactions, such as mergers and the sale of substantially all of our assets. Even if the CD&R Investors cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 50% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock, they will likely still be able to assert significant influence over our board of directors and certain corporate actions. Following the completion of this offering, the CD&R Investors will continue to have the right to designate for nomination for election to our board of directors at least a majority of our directors and to designate the Chair of our board of directors as long as the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) collectively beneficially own shares of our common stock and our other equity securities representing at least 50% and 25%, respectively, of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock and our other equity securities. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Stockholders Agreement.”
Under our Certificate of Incorporation, the CD&R Investors and their affiliates and, in some circumstances, any of our directors and officers who is also a director, officer, employee, member or partner of the CD&R Investors and their affiliates, have no obligation to offer us corporate opportunities.
The policies relating to corporate opportunities and transactions with the CD&R Investors set forth in our Certificate of Incorporation address potential conflicts of interest between Core & Main, on the one hand, and the CD&R Investors and their respective officers, directors, employees, members or partners who are directors or officers of our company, on the other hand. In accordance with those policies, the CD&R Investors may pursue corporate opportunities, including acquisition opportunities that may be complementary to our business, without offering those opportunities to us. By becoming a stockholder in Core & Main, you will be deemed to have notice of and have consented to these provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation. Although these provisions are designed to resolve conflicts between us and the CD&R Investors and their affiliates fairly, conflicts may not be resolved in our favor or be resolved at all.
 
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Future offerings of debt, Class A common stock, equity securities which would rank senior to our Class A common stock or other securities convertible or exchangeable into common or preferred stock, in connection with a financing, strategic investment, litigation settlement or employee arrangement or otherwise, may result in dilution to owners of our Class A common stock and/or may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock.
If, in the future, we decide to issue debt or equity securities that rank senior to our Class A common stock, it is likely that such securities will be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility. Issuing additional shares of our Class A common stock or other equity securities or securities convertible into equity may dilute the economic and voting rights of our stockholders or reduce the market price of our Class A common stock. Additionally, any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue in the future may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our Class A common stock and may result in dilution to owners of our Class A common stock. Debt securities convertible into equity could be subject to adjustments in the conversion ratio pursuant to which certain events may increase the number of equity securities issuable upon conversion. Preferred stock, if issued, could have a preference with respect to liquidating distributions or a preference with respect to dividend payments that could limit our ability to pay dividends to the holders of our Class A common stock. We and, indirectly, our stockholders, will bear the cost of issuing and servicing such securities. Because our decision to issue debt or equity securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors outside our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings. Thus, holders of our Class A common stock will bear the risk of our future offerings, reducing the market price of our Class A common stock or diluting the value of their stock holdings in us.
In addition, in the future, we may issue additional shares of Class A common stock or other equity or debt securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for shares of our Class A common stock in connection with a financing, strategic investment, litigation settlement or employee arrangement or otherwise. Any of these issuances could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Anti-takeover provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and
By-laws
could discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company and may affect the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Our Certificate of Incorporation and
By-laws
include a number of provisions that may discourage, delay or prevent a change in our management or control over us even if our stockholders might consider such changes to be favorable. For example, our Certificate of Incorporation and
By-laws
collectively:
 
   
authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that could be issued by our board of directors to thwart a takeover attempt;
 
   
provide for a classified board of directors, which divides our board of directors into three classes, with members of each class serving staggered three-year terms, which prevents stockholders from electing an entirely new board of directors at an annual meeting;
 
   
limit the ability of stockholders to remove directors if the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 40% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock;
 
   
provide that vacancies on our board of directors, including vacancies resulting from an enlargement of our board of directors, may be filled only by a majority vote of directors then in office;
 
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prohibit stockholders from calling special meetings of stockholders if the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 40% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock;
 
   
prohibit stockholder action by consent in writing or electronic transmission, thereby requiring all actions to be taken at a meeting of the stockholders, if the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 40% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock;
 
   
opt out of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), which prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years following the time the person became an interested stockholder, or any successor provision to Section 203, until Section 203 by its terms would, but for the applicable provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation, apply to us and the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 5% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock;
 
   
establish advance notice requirements for nominations of candidates for election as directors or to bring other business before an annual meeting of our stockholders; and
 
   
require the approval of holders of at least 66 2/3% of the voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock then entitled to vote thereon to amend our
By-laws
and certain provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation if the CD&R Investors (together with their affiliates) cease to beneficially own shares of our common stock representing at least 40% of the total voting power of the outstanding shares of our common stock.
These provisions may prevent our stockholders from receiving the benefit from any premium to the market price of our Class A common stock offered by a bidder in a takeover context or from changing our management and board of directors. Even in the absence of a takeover attempt, the existence of these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of our Class A common stock if the provisions are viewed as discouraging takeover attempts in the future. See “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Certificate of Incorporation and
By-Laws.”
Our Certificate of Incorporation and
By-laws
may also make it difficult for stockholders to replace or remove our management. Furthermore, the existence of the foregoing provisions, as well as the significant amount of the total voting power that the CD&R Investors will continue to have following this offering, could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our Class A common stock. These provisions may facilitate management entrenchment that may delay, deter, render more difficult or prevent a change in our control, which may not be in the best interests of our stockholders.
We could be the subject of securities class action litigation due to future stock price volatility, which could divert management’s attention and materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The stock market in general, and market prices for the securities of companies like ours in particular, have from time to time experienced volatility that often has been unrelated to the operating performance of the underlying companies. A certain degree of stock price volatility can be attributed to being a newly public company. These broad market and industry fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In certain situations in which the market price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have instituted securities class action litigation against the company that issued the stock. We may be a target of this
 
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type of litigation in the future. The defense and disposition of litigation of this type could result in substantial costs and divert resources and the time and attention of our management, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our Class A common stock for the foreseeable future and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment depends on appreciation in the price of our Class A common stock.
We do not intend to declare and pay dividends on our Class A common stock for the foreseeable future. We currently intend to use our future earnings, if any, to repay debt, to fund our growth, to develop our business, for working capital needs and for general corporate purposes. Therefore, you are not likely to receive any dividends on your Class A common stock for the foreseeable future, and the success of an investment in shares of our common stock depends upon any future appreciation in their value. There is no guarantee that shares of our Class A common stock will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our stockholders have purchased their shares. Payments of dividends, if any, are at the sole discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including general and economic conditions, our financial condition and operating results, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal and tax restrictions and implications of the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries to us, and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our operations are conducted almost entirely through our subsidiaries. As such, to the extent that we determine in the future to pay dividends on our Class A common stock, none of our subsidiaries will be obligated to make funds available to us for the payment of dividends. Further, the agreements governing our subsidiaries’ debt agreements significantly restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or otherwise transfer assets to us, and we may enter into other debt agreements or borrowing arrangements in the future that restric