BOWERSTON, OH - L.J. Smith Stair Systems has acquired Universal Stair Parts, Inc., a company specializing in custom manufacturing and distribution of stair parts based in Ballground, GA.
“L.J. Smith will benefit the entire group and will help Universal continue its growth as a full-service stair parts supplier," said former co-owner Tom Hopson. "We feel that this acquisition is beneficial to all of our employees because it allows the scale, capacity and resources of L.J. Smith to enhance their personal achievement.”
“The joining of forces will give us a strong manufacturing and distribution foothold in the Southeast and therefore bring added capabilities which will further strengthen our commitment to serve our customers,” said Craig Kurtz President of L.J. Smith.
Former Universal co-owner Jeff Moyer noted, “L.J. Smith has promised to maintain current operations while investing new dollars in updating equipment, and upgrading computers to allow us to serve the customer more efficiently."
Despite the ownership change, the Georgia operation will remain the same and will continue to market under the name Universal Stair Parts.
Founded in 1885, L.J. Smith Stair Systems says it is the largest manufacturer of stair parts in the country. The company is headquartered in Bowerston, OH and serves all 50 states from 9 distributions branches and 4 manufacturing centers across the U.S.
It was founded in 1885 by L.J. Smith, who began making stair parts and staircases in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1911, he moved his family to Conotton, OH, to continue the stairway business as “L.J. Smith and Son.” L.J. Smith and his son, along with seven other craftsmen, crafted circular stairways that were popular for large homes throughout the South.
In 1977, the Smith family sold the business, which expanded to Bowerston, OH, in 1989.
The new facility was used to manufacture stair parts, while the original structure was renovated to accommodate the custom stair division of L.J. Smith, Inc.
In 1991, East Coast competitor Morgan Stairways was acquired; in 1992 Utah-based Challis Stairways, Inc. was added. In 1993, Woodsmiths Design & Manufacturing was added, and its manufacturing site in Texas was maintained.
With the acquisition of Universal Stair Parts, L.J. Smith expands its claim on being the largest stair parts manufacturing company in the country.
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