DALLAS — Fibreboard Corp., which has expanded by acquisitions the past two years to become a major force in vinyl siding extrusion, has sold its three California ski resorts and could use the money to keep expanding, company officials said. The firm took its first step in that direction Dec. 11 when it announced it would pay $14 million to Cleveland-based Gentek Building Products Inc. for two plants that fabricate aluminum and vinyl windows and door, and for 10 distribution facilities, all in Florida. The factories, in Bradenton and Lakeland, Fla., are Fibreboard's first window plants.
Fibreboard was California's largest ski resort operator. The Dallas company announced Dec. 4 that it generated $126 million, or $92 million in aftertax cash, by selling the Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Bear Mountain resorts to Booth Creek Inc.
Fibreboard burst on the vinyl siding scene in 1994 when it purchased Norandex Inc. of Macedonia, Ohio. The following year it picked up Vytec Corp. of London, Ontario. In 1996, the company has announced major expansions of existing capacity and a new plant in Joplin, Mo. The new Florida distribution locations will carry the company's siding products as well as windows.
Fibreboard — which is traded on the American Stock Exchange — now has 124 company-owned distribution centers in 32 states.
John D. Roach, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement that the company will miss earnings generated by its Resort Group through the first quarter of 1997.
``However, this sale provides us with additional cash for internal expansion and strategic acquisitions in fast-growing segments of the building products industry,'' he said. ``We now have over $200 million immediately available to fund our acquisition program. Our strategy includes acquiring building products companies that need capital and expanded distribution access in order to secure a leadership market position within their niche segment.''
In recent years, the firm also got out of its original lumber business to focus on vinyl siding, cast stone products and insulation.
Roach said the ski resort sell-off means Fibreboard earnings in the fourth quarter of 1996 and first quarter of 1997 will be lower than previously expected.