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Lifetime Brands acquires Mikasa

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Housewares giant Lifetime Brands has acquired home decor manufacturer Mikasa, a division of Arques, France-based Arc International SA.

Mikasa manufactures a wide range of housewares and decorative accessories. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lifetime CEO Jeffrey Siegel said the business unit should bring in more than $150 million in revenue in 2009.

Lifetime intends to update its financial guidance for 2008 to include the effect of the acquisition.

Lifetime Brands, based in Garden City, N.J., distributes housewares under names including Farberware, KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Towle and CasaModa.

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Western Forest Products to lay off 2,000 workers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Western Forest Products, the Vancouver-based forest products company, has announced plans to lay off nearly 2,000 employees, including 1,850 loggers and 100 sawmill workers.

The company cited falling demand for cedar products for the layoffs, as well as soft demand for forest products in the U.S. and Japanese markets, the two primary markets served by the company.

The company will curtail selected timber harvesting operations on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Sunshine Coast during July and August. “This reduction represents slightly more than half the normal timber harvesting undertaken during this period,” according to the company.

Western also will shut down its Duke Point, B.C., sawmill location during the same two-month period. “This is in addition to the previously announced indefinite shutdown of the Ladysmith, (B.C.) sawmill, and various shorter term curtailments that take place at other mills,” the company said.

Areport in the Vancouver Sun estimated that there currently are more than 12,000 laid-off forest workers in British Columbia.

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Universal Forest Products expands in Oregon

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A subsidiary of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products has purchased certain assets of D-Stake Mill, in McMinnville, Ore., and Manufacturing Country, in Independence, Ore.

D-Stake and Manufacturing Country manufacture kiln stickers, lath, stakes, decking and pallets and pallet components for a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail and agriculture. In 2007, sales to their customer base, which is concentrated in California, Washington and Oregon, totaled approximately $18.5 million, according to the company. Universal Forest Products Western Division finalized the purchase on June 9.

“We continue to look for opportunities to grow our industrial business, and we’re pleased to add successful operations like D-Stake and Manufacturing Country,” said Universal Forest Products president and CEO Michael B. Glenn. “They know lumber, they know their business and how to serve their customers well, and they know how to run and maintain a profitable operation.”

Sales manager Dan Harris will remain with Universal as general manager of operations. Bob Harris will stay on as a consultant through the transition.

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