Koppers acquires Brown Wood Preserving to expand in utility pole sector


In a strategic move to expand its reach and capabilities within the utility pole sector, Koppers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KOP), a global leader in treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals, and carbon compounds, has announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Koppers Utility and Industrial Products Inc. (UIP), has signed an agreement to acquire substantially all assets of Brown Wood Preserving Company, Inc. and certain affiliates. The acquisition, valued at approximately $100 million in cash, is poised to enhance Koppers’ geographic reach and product offerings, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions.

James Sullivan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Koppers, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “I am really pleased to add the Brown Wood group to the Koppers team. Together, we will be able to bring even greater capabilities to our customer base while growing our geographic reach.” This sentiment was echoed by Chief Executive Officer Leroy Ball, who emphasized the acquisition’s alignment with Koppers’ strategic goal of expanding its utility pole treatment business. Ball projected that while the acquisition might not significantly impact the 2024 results due to the timing and integration costs, it is expected to contribute to achieving adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of between $315 million and $325 million in 2025.

Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Brown Wood Preserving Company specializes in manufacturing and selling pressure-treated wood utility poles. With a workforce of approximately 100 employees and serving customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States, Brown Wood operates facilities in Kennedy, Alabama, and Mathiston, Mississippi. The inclusion of Brown Wood into Koppers’ portfolio is anticipated to bolster Koppers’ utility business’s profitability and global presence.

Koppers plans to finance the acquisition of Brown Wood through cash on hand and borrowing capacity, with the company set to be integrated into Koppers Utility and Industrial Products division upon closing. This strategic acquisition marks a significant step in Koppers’ efforts to grow its utility pole treatment business, enhancing its product range, customer base, and operational footprint.

This acquisition represents a strategic expansion for Koppers Holdings Inc., underlining its commitment to growing its utility pole treatment business and bolstering its position as a leader in the treated wood products industry. By integrating Brown Wood Preserving Company into its operations, Koppers is set to enhance its service capabilities, geographic reach, and market share in the utility pole sector, positioning the company for sustained growth and profitability.

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