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Universal Forest Products Inc. Expands Market

April 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Universal Forest Products Inc. announced Thursday (April 22) that it is expanding its distribution business in the manufactured housing and recreational vehicle markets with the planned addition of Shepherd Distribution Co. to its subsidiary, UFP Distribution LLC.

UFP Distribution expects to close within the next two weeks on the purchase of the assets of the Elkhart, Ind.-based firm, Shepherd Distribution, which distributes shingle underlayment, bottom board, house wrap, siding, poly film and other products to manufactured housing and RV customers. Shepherd Distribution has a history of more than 40 years of distribution to the manufactured housing and RV markets. In the last 12 months, it had sales of more than $12 million.

“This purchase is the next step toward our goal of adding more sales for every manufactured home and RV that is built. With the decline in the number of housing units manufactured, we can provide more value to our customers and reduce their internal procurement costs,” said CEO Michael B. Glenn. “The products Shepherd brings to Universal also will help us reach new customers with our existing products.”

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based, publicly owned Universal was founded in 1955 as a wholesaler of lumber to the manufactured housing market. Today, the company’s affiliates provide lumber, building and related supplies to four primary markets: do-it-yourself/retail, industrial/packaging, site-built construction and manufactured housing.

Earlier in the year, UFP Distribution acquired certain assets of the former Service Supply Distribution company, which distributed plumbing and electrical supplies, water heaters, fireplace surrounds, adhesives, and many other products to manufactured housing customers. UFP Distribution will continue to seek distribution opportunities to better serve its customers.

“Many of the customers of Shepherd have been mutual customers of ours for decades. They can continue to expect the best from both Shepherd and Universal,” Glenn added. “The people of Shepherd are seasoned professionals who will continue to lead the business and contribute to the expansion and growth of our company as part of the UFP Distribution management team.”

“This move is an exciting chapter in the history of our company,” said Marty Rottenberg, president of Shepherd Distribution, who will join UFP Distribution’s management team. “We’re proud of the relationships and business we’ve built and the success we’ve achieved. We look forward to continuing that success at Universal. We’ve known UFP for a long time as a respected leader in the market, and we’re delighted to be a part of the Universal family of companies.”

Universal Forest Products Inc. is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to subsidiaries that design, manufacture and market wood and wood-alternative products for DIY/retail home centers and other retailers, structural lumber and other products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for the site-built construction market, and specialty wood packaging and components and packing materials for various industries.

Universal’s subsidiaries also provide framing services for the site-built market, and forming products for concrete construction. The Company’s consumer products subsidiary offers a large portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers nationwide.

For more about Universal Forest Products, go to www.ufpi.com.

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