FIBREBOARD ACQUIRING FABWEL

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Fibreboard Corp. of Dallas is going mobile, with its announced acquisition of Fabwel Inc. of Elkhart, Ind., which makes exterior parts for the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing and construction markets.

Fibreboard, which specializes in residential vinyl, cast stone and industrial insulation products, will pay $120 million for Fabwel, a privately held company founded in 1972. The deal is scheduled to close in the second quarter of this year.

Fabwel expects to post 1997 sales of $200 million. The company recently gained vinyl siding production capability with a new plant in Atlanta. Its main product line is thin-gauge aluminum sheet.

``There's definitely a synergy there,'' said Margaret Turbeville, a spokeswoman for Fibreboard. ``Fabwel makes vinyl siding for manufactured homes, and that's an area Fibreboard has been talking about supplying for quite some time.''

In December, Fibreboard sold its ski-resort holdings and announced it was hunting for acquisitions with more than $200 million to spend. It has already spent $14 million for two vinyl and aluminum window plants and 10 distribution centers, which it purchased from Gentek Building Products Inc. in December.

The Gentek and Fabwel deals still leave tens of millions of dollars left in Fibreboard's announced acquisitions pot.

``Fibreboard is in acquisition mode,'' Turbeville said, adding the company still is looking for more profitable, fast-growing firms.

The company is evaluating opportunities, ``but there is nothing to announce at this time,'' Turbeville said.

Fabwel's 700 employees work in plants in Elkhart, Nappanee and Goshen, Ind.; Atlanta and Douglas, Ga.; Miami; Plant City, Fla.; and Waco, Texas.

Fibreboard was 23rd in Plastics News' 1996 annual ranking of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders with related sales of $98 million and total corporate sales of $380 million. Fabwel was not ranked.

Corporate sales for Fibreboard increased in 1996, reaching a record $468.9 million for the year ending Dec. 31., according to its annual report. Fibreboard employs 2,000.