Facing mounting cost pressures and dwindling demand, Canada's largest wood-plastic composite deck maker closed its doors June 2 and is soliciting potential buyers.
Bolton, Ontario-based Brite Manufacturing Inc., a 30-year-old, publicly traded company, injection molded plastic lattice and made pressure-treated lumber and cedar boards, in addition to composite deck and railing products.
Brite's 50,000-square-foot plastics facility in Bolton houses extrusion lines and injection molding machines. A office with 8,000 square feet of space is attached to the building.
The company also has two timber facilities in Bolton - a 45,000-square-foot building and a second one that is 20,000 square feet. In addition, Brite has a 30,000-square-foot lumber treatment plant in South River, Ontario, according to the company's prospectus.
Several economic factors finally caught up with Brite, said Vice President Andrew Rush in a June 9 telephone interview.
``The combination of a rising Canadian dollar, a downturn in demand and resin prices increasing upward of 50 percent led us here,'' Rush said.
Brite used 100 percent virgin resins to manufacture the deck, railing and lattice products, Rush said.
Company officials said they hope to keep Brite intact and prefer to sell it to a strategic buyer within the industry, rather than a private equity group.
``Brite had a good reputation, did well in establishing Canadian distribution, and their plastic lattice was widely distributed in the U.S.,'' said Steve Van Kouteren, a principal with Exton, Pa.-based building products consulting firm Principia Partners. Brite was among the 10 or 20 largest composite decking manufacturers, he said.
The burst bubble of new construction proved too much for Brite, Rush said.
``The biggest thing is the slowdown in demand. People talk about Canada being in a different point of recession,'' he said. ``Anyone in building materials is selling to both [the United States and Canada]. Even if we have half our interest in Canada, the half in the U.S. is big enough to impact us.
``We had to raise our prices to offset the change in the dollar. Then the price of resin has gone up close to 50 percent. All those things combined to make for the perfect storm.''
Burlington, Ontario-based G.S. MacLeod & Associates Inc. is representing Brite on the potential sale.