Sensibuilt Building Solutions LLC will become a brand of Fiber Composites LLC under a recently signed merger agreement.
The deal will give wood-composite deck and railing manufacturer Fiber Composites the premium vinyl offering it had been seeking for its Fiberon-brand decking line. PVC building products maker Sensibuilt will gain the capacity and resources needed to take its technology nationwide.
Fiber Composites will sell Sensibuilt's decking under the Sensibuilt-brand name. The decking uses a surface coating called Lumenite, a key selling point for Sensibuilt. The brand offers the industry's first 10-year color-hold warranty, the firms said.
``This creates a powerhouse in alternative decking,'' Sensibuilt Chairman Bill Collins said in a Dec. 19 telephone interview. ``We now have the capacity and the full product line to answer the questions that have gone unanswered in wood-plastic composites.''
The technology is extraordinary, said Doug Mancosh, Fiber Composites' president and chief executive officer.
``It's incredibly crafty what I would call the next-generation PVC,'' Mancosh said Dec. 18. ``It uses a surfacing after extrusion that gives the product far and above anything that can be done by extrusion, or even capping with coextrusion, like us.''
The technology was developed by Jeff Nesbitt, Sensibuilt's vice president of technology. He is credited with developing the flax-reinforced cellular PVC Procell technology now owned by Moosic, Pa.-based Azek Building Products Inc. Azek is the market leader in the cellular PVC category.
``There is clearly a part of the decking business that will be PVC cellular,'' Mancosh said. ``Sensibuilt has the leadership position, on a technology basis. We want the best in class, and we think with the merger with Sensibuilt that we picked up the best in cellular PVC.''
New London, N.C.-based Fiber Composites introduced a cellular PVC board called Sanctuary last spring, but never took it commercial, he said. The company will abandon its other vinyl product development to focus on Sensibuilt, Mancosh said.
Sensibuilt decking is cellulose-free. It also features a newly developed hidden fastener system that company officials claimed is the best in the business. The fastener system eliminates the need for clips to be installed.
The Deck Pilot is a tool that helps guide fastening screws into the deck's substructure, after the boards are in place. It allows for installation equal to, or faster than, screwing directly through the deck board from above, according to the companies.
Sensibuilt will continue to be made by the company's existing, undisclosed, manufacturing partners, but some of the manufacturing capacity will be brought in-house at Fiber Composites' extrusion facilities in New London and Meridian, Idaho, Mancosh said.
Distribution of Sensibuilt will be enhanced by Fiber Composites' vast distribution network. Product is already made and ready for delivery, Mancosh said.
``It's already in the system today,'' he said. ``It's essentially a finalized product. Inventories exist and are in distribution, and moving into retail.
``This is not a work in progress. It's just an integration of existing business into our platform and the vast expansion of that business,'' Mancosh said.
Pegasus Capital Advisors LP, of Cos Cob, Conn., owned a majority stake in Bloomfield, Conn.-based Sensibuilt. Pegasus will retain minority ownership in Fiber Composites after the merger.