Universal Forest acquires stake in sawmill


Universal Forest Products is expanding its industrial business in Texas and Louisiana via acquisition.

Grand Rapids-based Universal Forest Products said yesterday that a subsidiary has purchased a 50-percent ownership interest in Upshur Forest Products, which owns sawmill operations in Gilmer, Texas.

Sales in 2015 are estimated to be $10 million.

Terms of the deal, which closed March 27, were not disclosed.

Universal Forest Products, which provides capital, management and administrative resources to wood-product subsidiaries, said that the acquisition is intended to help grow its industrial business in east Texas and west Louisiana.

The move will help supply raw material to nearby Universal Forest Products affiliates and industrial operations that will be set up at one of the mill locations.

“Among our strategic goals is to grow our industrial business, and we’re doing that in a steady manner, by adding to existing industrial operations and growing our presence in areas we haven’t been able to serve economically,” said Matthew J. Missad, CEO, Universal Forest Products.

Missad said the "strategic partnership" will provide substantial freight savings to its customers in the region.

“In addition, we will lock in our supply of specialty mill items and certain hard-to-find dimensions and grades,” Missad said.

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