Orlando, Fla. — After going through its own sale to Westlake Chemical Corp., Royal Building Products is showing off new grooved decking and cedar shake that it expects to be such big sellers that the company is adding capacity.
Contractors looking for easy installation and homeowners wanting a natural wood look without the maintenance will drive demand for the expanding lines of cellular PVC decking called Zuri and siding called Cellular Celect, Senior Vice President Simon Bates said at the International Builders' Show.
Royal is part of Royal Group Inc. of Woodbridge, Ontario, whose parent company Axiall Corp. was acquired by Houston-based Westlake last summer for $33 per share. The deal had an enterprise value of about $3.8 billion, including debt and certain Axiall liabilities.
The acquisition was fraught with heated negotiations, threats of a proxy fight and talk of a takeover bid from Lotte Chemical Corp. before Westlake and Axiall came to an agreement that created the second-largest PVC producer in North America and a major manufacturer of vinyl building products.
“It has been a challenging year because the transaction didn't happen until Aug. 31. But I'd say the transition has been fairly smooth for the building products folks,” Bates said. “We feel we're in a good place. It's nice to be wanted and Westlake is a large, very successful company.”
Zuri decking and Celect siding have both been growth products for Royal. Bates said sales of the new grooved decking will probably overtake the regular boards.
“The groove makes it much simpler to install and given the ease of installation I think it's likely 75 percent of our sales will be the grooved board,” he said. “We have developed a proprietary clip system or a hidden fastener system as well.”
Zuri decking also has a capstock that the company says resists UV light and color fade. Royal sold out of this premium decking in 2014 and 2015.
Celect sales were strong those years, too, as well as in 2016. To expand this line, Royal added a shake product to its lap siding, which designers and homeowners can use for a full rustic-style exterior or to accent a gable.
“We've added significant capacity for both the deck product and Celect siding product and we're adding further capacity again this year,” Bates said, noting Zuri is made in Marion, Va., and Celect is made in Bristol, Tenn.