1. Archive


1946: Jim Walter, above, buys his first shell house for $895. He sells it three days later for a $300 profit, laying the foundation for what would become Walter Industries, then Walter Energy.

1956: Walter goes public to raise money for acquisitions.

1965: The first tower in the distinctive Walter Industries Tampa headquarters building is constructed. The second building and connecting skybridge are added in 1976.

1987: On Jim Walter's 65th birthday, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. acquires controlling interest and takes the company private in a $2.4 billion debt-financed buyout. Walter postpones his retirement to oversee the transition.

1988: Walter spins off four subsidiaries, including Celotex. Ken Hyatt, left, leaves Walter Industries to head Celotex.

1989: Burdened by rising debt and growing asbestos-related liabilities, Walter Industries files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

1991: G. Robert "Bull" Durham comes out of retirement to be president and CEO to lead Walter Industries through the bankruptcy reorganization. Jim Walter remains chairman.

1995: In March, Walter Industries emerges from bankruptcy as a public company once again. In October, Jim Walter retires, Durham becomes chairman and Hyatt returns as president.

2000: Jim Walter dies of complications from lung cancer at 77. Don DeFosset is named CEO in November.

2004: Subsidiary Jim Walter Resources in Brookwood, Ala., closes a coal mine where explosions killed 13 miners in 2001.

2005: Greg Hyland becomes chairman and CEO.

2006: Walter spins off Mueller Water Products, which makes fire hydrants and other water-infrastructure products, into a new public company. Hyland leaves to head the Mueller unit. Michael Tokarz becomes chairman; CEO post left vacant.

2008: Walter Industries Inc. says it will sell or spin off its home building and financing businesses, focusing on natural resources, which allows it to capitalize on record prices for coal.

2009: Walter closes the Jim Walter Homes unit, spins off the mortgage unit, renames itself Walter Energy and announces plans to move its headquarters to Alabama.