Norbord Europe joins wood-based panel specialists West Fraser

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Norbord Europe has joined the West Fraser organisation, manufacturers of engineered wood-based panel products

As the UK’s number one engineered wood panel manufacturer and serving the housebuilding and construction industry with a vast array of board products for flooring, panelling and roofing, Norbord is the go-to corporate name behind the company’s popular brands for architects, merchants, specifiers, end-users and consumers alike.

These successful, well-known brand names will remain – SterlingOSB Zero, CaberFloor and CaberWood MDF as part of the West Fraser organisation.

In addition, it is business as usual at the three UK plants – in Cowie and Inverness, Scotland; and South Molton, Devon – with no change in personnel.

David Connacher, marketing manager, said: “We are delighted to be working within the West Fraser family. It gives us the opportunity to continue growing, developing and maximising our European business as we have been doing for many years.

“It is very much business as usual, and our customer-facing teams are communicating this positive message to our key partners.”

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the US and Europe. From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, West Fraser produces lumber, engineered wood (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, particleboard), and other products including pulp, newsprint, wood chips and renewable energy.

West Fraser’s products are used in construction, repair and remodelling, industrial applications, papers, tissue and box materials.

David Connacher, marketing manager, West Fraser, answers your questions

  1. Norbord – who are/were they in a nutshell?

As the UK’s number one engineered wood panel manufacturer and serving the housebuilding and construction industry with a vast array of board products for flooring, panelling and roofing, Norbord is the go-to corporate name behind the company’s popular brands for architects, merchants, specifiers, end-users and consumers alike in the UK.

  1. Who is West Fraser?

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the US and Europe. West Fraser was founded in 1955 when three brothers – Sam, Bill and Pete Ketcham – pooled their resources to buy a small planning mill in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada

  1. Why is the acquisition a good thing?

The two companies are much aligned and share many common values, including a commitment to safety, efficient manufacturing facilities, a focus on continuous improvement and teamwork, as well as manufacturing sustainable products that are essential for a low-carbon economy.

Product development and efficient supply chains will also be at the crux of the new organisation due to the merging of experienced teams.

  1. So, has anything changed?

Absolutely nothing has changed for our customers. The people are the same, the products are the same, the plants are the same – Norbord Europe now becomes the European arm of West Fraser following the acquisition. And a bright future awaits.

  1. Are the contact details still the same?

The telephone number, and all the mobile numbers of contacts, have not changed. The website has a new name – www.uk.westfraser.com

  1. Will the names of the brands and products change?

No. The existing brands are market-leading and hugely successful. They are well known and have been part of the UK business landscape for years, if not decades. They will remain as they are the company’s stock-in-trade – literally. SterlingOSB Zero, CaberBoard, CaberFloor and CaberWood MDF, for example, will still be readily available.

  1. Will you still be supplying the same customers/merchants?

Yes – there will be no change to our supply network.

Simon Woods, european sales, marketing & logistics director, West Fraser, said: “The joining of our two companies is a very exciting move for us in Europe.

“To list West Fraser’s long-standing core beliefs – efficiency, modern mills, responsibility and leadership in environmental performance, the active involvement of employees in the business, a commitment to safety and a relentless pursuit of excellence in everything we do – is to echo Norbord’s.

“There is a huge opportunity for us to grow and develop in Europe – together. We are looking forward to a bright future!”

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