Osmose sold; management team remains
Buffalo, N.Y.-based Osmose Holdings, a manufacturer of wood preservation technology, will be acquired by investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, of Los Angeles.
Osmose’s existing management team will remain in place, including James Spengler, president and CEO of Osmose.
“Osmose has built very strong brand recognition and a solid reputation for innovative products and services, excellent customer service, best in class safety performance and good growth prospects across all its business segments, which attracted Oaktree to seek a partnership with management to pursue strategic growth plans,” Spengler said, in a prepared statement. “Oaktree can provide substantial additional resources and is committed to investing in Osmose to help us expand our product and service offerings and to better meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Terms of the deal were not revealed.
Ian Schapiro, managing director of Oaktree’s GFI Energy Group, said: “We look forward to working with Osmose’s world-class management team to continue to build on the company’s success.”
Osmose, a 78-year-old privately held company, was advised in this transaction by Western Reserve Partners.
Boise boosts sales in Q1
Boise Cascade Holdings has announced sales of $587 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2012, a 21% increase over the same quarter a year ago. The wood products company reported first-quarter net income of $1.66 million, compared with a $19.0 million loss during the first quarter of 2011.
As of March 31, Boise Cascade had total available liquidity of $371.9 million, with $164.4 million in cash and committed bank line availability of $207.5 million.
First-quarter 2012 revenues and earnings were higher on improved demand relative to the year-ago quarter. While the company’s revenues and earnings continue to be negatively impacted by depressed demand for the products it distributes and manufactures, the mild winter in the United States, improved residential construction activity, and its market share gains in engineered wood products (EWP) and plywood contributed to a better start of the year.
With the more favorable start to the year, the Blue Chip consensus forecast for U.S. housing starts for 2012 has been revised upward to 740,000 as of April 10, 2012, according to Boise’s press release. The final U.S. housing starts level reported for 2011 was 609,000.
“The demand level in the first quarter was stronger following the tough industry conditions and weather in 2011,” said Tom Carlile, CEO. “We are hopeful the increase in sales activity and our earnings will carry through to the rest of the year. Our liquidity puts us in a good position to respond to any improvement in the markets and take advantage of business opportunities.”
Building Materials Distribution (BMD) segment sales were $451.4 million in the first quarter 2012, up 19% from the same quarter a year ago. Volumes for the segment were up approximately 16%, with prices up about 3%.
Wood Products segment sales in the first quarter 2012 were $211.1 million, up 36% from the same quarter a year ago. The increase in sales was due primarily to increased plywood volumes and prices and increased EWP shipments, offset in part by lower EWP sales price realizations.
The company said it anticipates a “below normal demand” for the products it distributes and manufactures. Industry commodity wood product prices could be volatile in response to operating rates and inventory levels in various distribution channels. “We expect to manage our production levels to our sales demand, which will likely cause us to operate some of our facilities below their capacity,” the statement read.
BlueLinx posts increase in Q1 revenue
Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings posted a net loss of $11.0 million for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a net loss of $12.3 million in the first quarter of 2011.
The building products distributor reported first-quarter revenue of $453.7 million, up 16.2% from $390.6 million in the same period a year ago. The increase in revenue is attributable to increased unit volumes and increased underlying product prices for both product categories.
"We are very pleased by the sales growth in the first quarter and encouraged by signs of strengthening economic activity and improving industry trends," said George Judd, president and CEO.
"The company narrowed its first-quarter comparable adjusted pretax loss to $11.4 million from $21.4 million in the year-ago period. Our improved first-quarter results demonstrated our ability to grow revenue while keeping adjusted operating expenses flat and expanding margins. Looking forward, the positive sales momentum experienced in the first quarter has continued into April."