LUMBERYARDS

UFPI affiliate purchases 50% interest in Upshur Forest Products

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A subsidiary of Universal Forest Products has purchased a 50% ownership interest in Upshur Forest Products, which owns sawmill operations in Gilmer, Texas.

According to a statement released by UFPI Monday, the acquisition will help expand the company’s footprint in East Texas and western Louisiana, supplying raw material to nearby UFPI affiliates and to new industrial operations that will be established 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 Universal CEO Matthew J. Missad. "Our new strategic partnership with Upshur will allow us to add industrial manufacturing operations adjacent to the mill and serve customers in East Texas and western Louisiana at a substantial freight savings. In addition, we will lock in our supply of specialty mill items and certain hard-to-find dimensions and grades."

Sales for Upshur Forest Products in 2015 are projected to reach $10 million. The transaction closed on March 27, 2014.

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Pro dealers take on Washington

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Arlington, Va. — In a hotel conference room here filled with pro dealers about to make their lobbying rounds on Capitol Hill, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s Jonathan Paine and Ben Gann rallied the troops.

Up on the screen was a list of 24 names, all Republicans. It was a lobbying hit list of congressmen from Rob Bishop of Utah to Don Young of Arkansas. These legislators had supported previous versions of the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, but who have not signed on for the current version — HR 2746. 

A clear opportunity, according to Paine. "Remind them that they have supported this legislation in the past," he said. "There’s no reason these folks should not support this bill again." 

One of the key points to bring to these legislators, and anyone else for that matter, is that retailers should not be held liable for merely selling a product. "That’s the message that has to get across," Gann offered.

A dealer asked about the bill’s impact on consumer protection (separate issue). Another asked about a senate version (The act needs support in the house first). And through the room, dealers took notes and prepared talking points for a day of lobbying. 

The scene above played out during the 2014 NLBMDA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference, which brought together dealers and building material suppliers from around the country to push the lumberyard industry’s national agenda. (Click here for more information.)

In addition to the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, the NLBMDA’s talking points included three other priority issues. Collected here are excerpts from the talking points:

Reform EPA Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

Key point: The rule that requires certain renovation work to be supervised and performed by EPA-certified firms is an example of excessive regulation. The removal of an opt-out clause for homes without children or pregnant adds $336 million to compliance costs.

The ask: Cosponsor the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act and support reforms to the program.

 

Online Sales Tax Fairness

Key point: The same rules that apply to community-based retailers should apply to online retailers.

The ask: Encourage members of the house to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.

 

Improving Energy Efficiency

Key point: Green building rating systems should be product neutral.

The ask: Pass the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, ensuring that federal agencies do not unfairly exclude certain building materials, such as wood.

 

The NLBMDA Legislative Conference runs through Wednesday.

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Royal Building Products partners with U.S. Lumber

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Marion, Va.-based Royal Building Products has added U.S. Lumber to its Southeast and Mid-Atlantic distribution network, the company announced Monday.

“With the rapid growth of new, low-maintenance product alternatives, we are constantly adding high-quality brands that deliver on that promise to our contractor-oriented, pro-yard customers," said Jeff McClendon, president of U.S. Lumber. "The Royal brand is a perfect addition to that list.”

U.S. Lumber will distribute RBP’s Royal trim and mouldings profiles, including S4S Trimboard, Royal Trimboard sheet stock, fascia, window and door surrounds, and decorative moulding.

“We have ambitious goals for the Exteriors division of Royal, and U.S. Lumber is an ideal partner for helping us generate more demand for our products,” said Simon Bates, VP and general manager, Royal Exteriors. 

The Royal Exteriors division will provide U.S. Lumber with trim and mouldings manufactured at its Marion facility in southwestern Virginia and in Bristol, Tenn.

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