Potlatch settles OSB lawsuit
Potlatch has agreed to a $2.7 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against oriented strand board (OSB) producers. The Spokane, Wash., company announced the settlement, in which it admits no wrongdoing, as part of its first-quarter earnings.
In a statement, Potlatch said it settled the case “solely in order to avoid the further expense and burden of the ongoing litigation.”
The 2006 antitrust case alleges that OSB manufacturers began conspiring together in 2002 to artificially reduce the supply and inflate the prices of OSB. Three of the defendants have reached settlements so far: Huber Engineered Woods, Ainsworth and Georgia-Pacific. All have denied the accusations as part of their settlements.
Other companies named in the lawsuit include Weyerhaeuser, Louisiana-Pacific, Norbord Industries, Tolko Industries and Grant Forest Products.
Plaintiffs in the class action suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Pennsylvania, represents lumberyards and millwork shops in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
HD Supply White Cap enters Minneapolis market
HD Supply White Cap, the specialty hardware and tools distributor, has announced its entrance into the Minneapolis/St. Paul market with a 6,000-square-foot warehouse.
The new location will serve White Cap’s national industrial, commercial and residential customers and will warehouse and distribute tools, fasteners, accessories, abrasives, anchors, firestops, safety products and consumables.
“HD Supply White Cap selected the Minneapolis market because it enables the company to service many of its national customers with Midwest footprints faster and more efficiently,” the company said in a statement.
“Increasing our national footprint in important geographic regions like Minneapolis/St. Paul allows us to better partner with our customers to provide them with the products and services they need to be successful,” said Tom Lazzaro, president of HD Supply White Cap.
Other recent expansions for the distributor include the Chicago and Kansas City markets.
The company said it will continue to evaluate additional growth in the Midwest as part of its long-term growth strategy.
White Cap is a division of Atlanta-based HD Supply.
National Hardware Show held in Las Vegas
Las Vegas The 2008 National Hardware Show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, featuring about 3,500 exhibitors in 150 product categories and including Lawn & Garden World, the Homewares Show and an expanded new product section.
About 30,000 members of the home improvement retail community are expected to attend the three-day show, which represents a 10 percent jump from last year. Dean Russo, group vp-Reed Exhibitions and head of this year’s National Hardware Show, said this is a nice vote of confidence during some trying times for the home improvement industry.
“I think they understand that when market conditions are tough, it’s time to get more aggressive, not only to get through the bad times in the next 12 to 18 months, but to put themselves in a good position for when we come out of it,” Russo added.
Other highlights of the show include Inventor’s Spotlight, where attendees can look at newly patented or patent-pending products; the new Green Product World highlighting the latest in green, eco-friendly products; Global Hardware Expo, with more than 1,200 international vendors; and a series of educational seminars addressing challenges and trends in the industry.
In addition, Home Channel News’ Golden Hammer Awards — honoring retailers and manufacturers who have excelled in strategic partnerships — was presented in a special ceremony May 6.
The show, in its 62nd year, ran through May 8.