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UFPI acquires Australian packaging company

BY HBSDealer Staff

Universal Forest Products, Inc. has acquired an Australian wood packaging company based in a Sydney suburb.

Specifically, a UFPI subsidiary has acquired all outstanding shares of The UBEECO Group Pty. Ltd., a manufacturer of wood packaging based in Erskine Park, Australia.

Founded in 1970, UBEECO manufactures and distributes boxes, crates, pallets, skids, protection packaging, packaging accessories, loose lumber, and more. It also offers on-site packing services for many customers.

“UBEECO is a leader in the industrial packaging marketplace in Australia, and we are thrilled that the company and its talented people are joining the family of Universal,” said UFPI CEO Matt Missad. “They have an excellent reputation for quality products and customer service, they’re growing, and they have ambitious goals—and we value all of that. In addition, their leadership team is strong and has created not just a healthy business but also a good, strong corporate culture that fits well with ours.”

UBEECO netted sales of approximately $21.2 million in fiscal 2016, and it's the second packaging-related Australian acquisition for UFPI.

“With this acquisition, we strengthen our foothold in the Australian packaging market, and create opportunities for synergies between our two Australian manufacturers, UBEECO and Integra Packaging,” Missad added.

“We are pleased to be joining the Universal family of companies because we know they share our dedication to customers, to excellence, to growth, to profits and to the welfare of our employees,” said Chevalier Joseph Borg, cofounder and managing director of UBEECO, who will remain on the team as part of the acquisition. “We will be able to leverage Universal’s resources and expertise to take UBEECO to new levels of success.”

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Wayfair reveals its hot products

BY HBSDealer Staff

Wayfair isn’t your classic home improvement store, but there are similarities. Consider the Boston, Massachusetts-based retailer’s description of itself: “an online destination for all things home.”

That’s how a lot of upstart digital companies describe themselves. But Wayfair is more successful selling its things than others are — $3.14 billion in net revenue for the 12 months ended Sept. 30. And it’s growth rate is impressive — the company reported a 52% increase year-over-year in direct retail gross sales for the five-day shopping period of Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.

Seasonal products — including wreaths, trees and ornaments — led the sales charge. But other top sellers were TV stands, which sold at a rate of one every 19 seconds on Cyber Monday. Rugs, mattresses and outdoor furnishings also experienced strong growth, the company said. 

“The holiday shopping weekend is always a busy time for Wayfair, as our customers take advantage of outstanding deals on furnishings and décor across the site,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman of Wayfair. “In addition to shopping for seasonal items, our customers are also preparing their homes for holiday entertaining and hosting guests, buying across a wide range of categories covering all things home."

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: CENT soars by the double digits

BY HBSDEALER Staff

CENT was up 10.94% at the end of trading on Friday after releasing its earnings report the day prior. The rest of the outlook was mixed.

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