Investment firms are uniting two plastic wood companies looking for more

Two plastic wood companies that make outdoor furniture and building products join forces to create Premier Outdoor Living LLC.

The Chicago-based company brings together Recycled Plastics Industries LLC from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Highwood USA LLC from Hometown, Pennsylvania. The combined company has a third manufacturing facility in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

RPI makes synthetic wood from recycled high density polyethylene, which is then used by other companies for outdoor applications. Highwood manufactures both synthetic wood and finished goods for the spa and outdoor furniture market.

Dating back to 1989, RPI was one of the oldest names in the plastic wood market.

Randy Ahlm is CEO of the newly merged company and has more than 15 years of experience in leading manufacturing companies, including most recently as an executive at injection moulder PSI Molded Plastics in Chicago and Imperial Plastics Inc. in Minneapolis.

The deal to form Premier Outdoor Living was made by Kaho Partners LLC and Nassau Point Investors LLC, two private investment firms.

“Premier Outdoor Living is well positioned to benefit from the growth of outdoor living and the long-term shift from traditional building products to high-quality, more durable synthetic products,” said Kaho Co-Founder and Premier Chairman Max Katzenstein in a statement.

Although the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Premier announced that the company will continue to “conduct add-on acquisitions that add complementary customer relationships, sales channels and manufacturing capabilities.”

RPI was founded in 1989 by Lee Anderson in Green Bay, but this operation was transferred to US Plastic Lumber Corp. in 1997. sold. However, USPL closed the site in 2001 as part of a company-wide reorganization of its nationwide manufacturing presence. The USPL eventually declared bankruptcy.

Bet Jandron, who has been with RPI since 1991, joined in 2002 to create a second incarnation also known as Recycled Plastics Industries. It reinstated many of the employees who lost their jobs after the Green Bay site closed, according to earlier coverage by Plastics News.

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