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Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products, which is opening a new Orangeburg County plant, is also planning to buy a Rowesville packaging facility.

Universal Forest Products says North American Container Corp.’s Rowesville plant will remain open following the purchase.

"We are going to keep that plant operational," Universal Forest Products spokeswoman Lynn Afendoulis said.

"There is enough business in that area to grow both operations well,” she said.

Universal Forest Products makes wood and wood composite products for a number of uses.

It announced this week it is going to invest $6.1 million and create 120 jobs in Orangeburg County. It plans to locate in the speculative building in the John W. Matthews Industrial Park, which is located on U.S. 301 near U.S. 176.

The new facility will be dedicated to manufacturing products for the industrial market.

Universal Forest Products signed an agreement last week to purchase the operating assets of North American Container Corporation, including the company's Rowesville plant.

The agreement has not been finalized. The purchase is expected to close June 1, 2018.

The Rowesville plant employs about 300.

North American Container’s Rowesville plant will complement the work at Universal Forest Product’s new facility, Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said.

"The plant is a totally different product line with different customers," Robinson said.

The acquisition of North American Container will allow Universal Forest Products to add steel, corrugated and hardwood packing to its product portfolio.

North American Container has nine manufacturing facilities. It had sales of about $71 million in 2017.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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