The Money Behind the Woodworking Industry

By Bill Esler | Posted: 12/06/2013 5:22AM


Wood Products AlmanacRead Wood Industry Financiers" from the 2014 Wood Industry Almanac   A sure sign of the woodworking industry business promise: equity investors moved into the field.

As we researched the 2014 Wood Industry Almanac, looking for trends from the past year, the term "private equity" popped up repeatedly. Tracing the origins of stories, we found that during the downturn, in the bleakest days for businesses, private equity partners were active in the woodworking industry, keeping large companies afloat.

The capital infusion wasn't enough to assure survival. Cardell Cabinetry continued to operate, but on a gradually deteriorating basis, until finally it closed. But HIG Capital Partners helped it limp along until the recovery.

Others fared better, such as Norcraft Industries, which was able to make it through the parlous times, until its investors could recoup their gamble in a public offering - successful enough, in that it was increased by during the offering period.

And it continues: Sidereal Capital Group and Argosy Private Equity just acquired UC Wood Coatings. And Louisiana Pacific just sold a biofuel business to Tenex Capital, very active in the woodworking industry

Why are they there? Because even at the very bottom, the private equity companies new the cyclical nature of the housing market would eventually bring recovery, and with it, businesses in sectors of furniture, flooring, windows, doors and cabinetry - and the lumber they are made from - would recover.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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