Suwannee Lumber Company — a profitable, family-owned lumber business specializing in southern yellow pine decking — was looking for a buyer who would maintain its standing as the leading employer in rural Dixie County, Florida. Although many family members not active in the business wanted to sell their stakes, Suwannee, like many other successful family-owned businesses, lacked the infrastructure to attract most institutional and corporate buyers. In addition, legacy environmental issues created challenges that many potential buyers found daunting.
Our operating partners know potential for excellence when they see it. Familiar with family-run businesses, they saw that the facility was exceptionally well run. Their deep knowledge of the forest products industry meant that they had an informed view of the company’s long-term sustainable position. Our extensive experience with environmental issues allowed us to see a path to successful remediation of legacy issues. In 2013, we partnered with family members active in the business and acquired a majority stake in Suwannee from the owners who wanted to sell, with the objective of taking it from good to great.
The injection of capital allowed Suwannee’s mill to expand production and employment. Working with the existing management team, our operating partners implemented world-class financial and planning systems. Responding to legacy environmental liabilities, we worked with regulators and nationally known engineers to implement a transparent plan to document and remediate.
As the U.S. housing market continues to rebound, Suwannee finds its products in continuous demand, a robust player in the newly buoyant national housing industry. Together with Suwannee, we continue to focus on capital investment and a commitment to the highest standards of social responsibility and operational excellence.