The southern locations of the Binderholz group in Austria and Germany ©

The emergence of a giant

Article by Gerd Ebner, translated by Susanne Höfler | 09.10.2017 - 11:22

Only three months after the takeover of Nordlam by Hasslacher Norica Timber, the top ranks will be stirred up once again. Binder/Klenk's joint production volume of solid wood products amounts to more than 2 million m³/yr. Over 5 million sm³/yr will be cut in seven sawmills. The main motives for the acquisition according to owner Reinhard Binder were:
- significantly improved log logistical flows
- three new locations with EBITDA margins between 5 an 9% in the past few years
- strengthening of product ranges
- own economic strength (according to the Binder AG balance, the equity ratio of 2016 was 42%.)

In 2013, Klenk was acquired by US private equity company Carlyle. Back then, the plan was to create a mega timber industry with the help of other investments that could eventually be sold at a profit on the exchange. Now, Carlyle apparently sold to the Austrian timber industry at a profit. Binder remains silent about the purchasing price, but is complimenting the US company for their fairness and management: "The Americans arranged the company's finances, invested in a greater real net output ratio and made sure the equipment stays well-maintained. Klenk's EBITDA has been gaining around € 1 million per year since 2013."

Softwood lumber Top 10 | Plan 2017
Europe (Softwood lumber in 1,000 m³)
Rank Company Country ¹⁾ Plan 2017
1 Stora Enso ²⁾ FI 4,600
2 Binderholz/Klenk Holz AT 2,900
3 Moelven Group NO 2,200
4 Ilim Timber ³⁾ RU 2,150
5 Pfeifer Holz AT 2,100
6 SCA Timber SE 2,050
7 Södra Timber SE 1,900
8 Metsä Fibre FI 1,820
9 Holzindustrie Schweighofer AT 1,800
10 Mayr-Melnhof Holz AT 1,800

"Manageable"purchase price
"In relation to our revenue situation and the margin expectations at Klenk, the purchase price was manageable. In my opinion, it is significantly better than in comparable deals of 2017", Binder paraphrases. "The management as well as the excellent site directors stay with Binderholz. Also in the sales department, we take over excellent people", the timber manufacturer assesses.
Recent years corroborated the Binderholz management's conviction that sawmills should always be equipped with further processing solutions. Stand-alone solutions have disadvantages. Correspondingly, investments will probably continue to go into the real net output ratio.

Right in the middle of the raw materials supply
"The Klenk headquarters in Oberrot are located in the middle of Germany's spruce epicenter. The site's cutting lines are comparatively slow, but very flexible", Binder explains. The diversity of types of wood (spruce, pine, Douglas fir, larch), garden timber, pressboard pallets and pressboard block production complement the existing Binderholz portfolio.

"Strengthening further processing will render us more independent of the volatile lumber markets. This stabilizes results considerably." With the takeover, the group's production of laminated timber alone increased to an incredible 715,000 m³/yr (see tables BSH, BSP, KVH, solid wood boards; 5.7 million m²/yr). Thus, the necessary lumber demand was the main reason for taking over those three German sawmill sites. "In terms of log wood, there is only a few blank areas left for us. We can optimize deliveries particularly between Oberrot and Kösching dramatically", Binder predicts. This task could be assigned to Binder's timber harvesting company TTW Waldpflege. As regards lumber, Burgbernheim (BSP production since this year) is closer to Oberrot than to previous suppliers Kösching. The new sawmill in Wolfegg is not far from the BSH production in Jenbach.

Structural finger-jointed timber Top 10 | Plan 2017
Production lines in Germany and Austria (in m³)
Rank Company Country Plan 2017
1 Ante-Holz Bromskirchen/Rottleberode/DE 280,000
2 Stora Enso * Pfarrkirchen/DE, Ždírec/CZ 265,000
3 Ladenburger Holzwerke Bopfingen/DE 200,000
4 Binderholz, Klenk Holz ¹⁾ Jenbach/AT, Baruth/DE 180,000
5 Rettenmeier Holzind. Hirschberg/DE 150,000
6 Cordes Bremerhaven/DE 110,000
7 Hasslacher Norica Timber Preding/AT 100,000
8 Asta-Holzwerke Ziemetshausen/DE 95,000
9 Eugen Decker Morbach/DE 90,000
10 Abies Austria Oberweis/AT 85,000

Klenk with strong DIY range
The Klenk sites already yield a turnover of € 100 million in the DIY sector. "While our focus is clearly on timber construction, for Klenk it rather is the construction market track", Binder outlines a contrast.

Small steps, big impact
"The cutting lines, like for instance in Oberrot, are well-maintained and have most recently not been used to full capacity due to a purchasing reluctance. Here, it is possible to achieve a lot with small steps", Binder reckons. A special feature Binder sees is that all of the Klenk group's panel and planing lines are equipped with scanners - which by no means is a given in the DIY sector.
"Baruth ranges amongst Europe's top sawmill sites", Binder is enthusiastic. Furthermore, he recognizes that Baruth's KVH factory is one of the best commissioning lines amongst all European producers.

The "Klenk" brand stays
"The different sites will only undergo moderate adaptations. Every factory will grow a little bit. The integration into our group will strengthen our employees' backs", says Binder confidently. "The Klenk brand is well-positioned and therefore going to stay."

Cross-laminated timber Top 10 | 2016–2020
Europe; existing and planned productions (in m³/yr)
Rank Company Location future production ¹⁾
1 Binderholz ²⁾ Unternberg/AT, Burgbernheim/DE 270,000
2 Stora Enso Bad St. Leonhard/AT, Ybbs/AT 210,000
3 Legal & General ³⁾ Großbritannien 120,000
4 KLH Massivholz Katsch a. d. Mur/AT 110,000
5 Pfeifer Holz ⁴⁾ Schlitz 100,000
6 Hasslacher Norica Timber Stall im Mölltal/AT 80,000
7 Mayr-Melnhof Holz Gaishorn/AT 80,000
8 CLT Finland Hoisko/FI 40,000
9 Eugen Decker Morbach/DE 30,000
10 Züblin Timber Aichach/DE 30,000

Binderholz AG's balance
In 2016, the Binder Beteiligungs AG in Fügen yielded an annual surplus of € 32.6 million, and € 20 million in the previous year. Together with the profit brought forward from the previous year, the accumulated profit gained 69% amounting to € 79.7 million.
Income from participations (affiliated companies) increased between 2015 and 2016 from € 9 million to € 35.2 million.
The company's net assets were reported to add up to € 79.8 million according to item A in the balance. With a balance sum of € 189 million, the equity ratio amounts to 42%.
In 2016, the following subsidiaries belonged to the company group: Binderholz GmbH in Fügen, Binderholz Bausysteme GmbH in Hallein, Waldprofi GmbH in Fügen, Binderholz Unternberg GmbH, Binderholz Deutschland GmbH in Kösching/DE, Binderforst GmbH in Kösching, Binderholz Burgbernheim GmbH in Burgbernheim as well as Binderholz Nordic Oy in Joensuu/FI.

Glulam Top 10 | 2016
Productions in Germany and Austria (in m³)
Rank Company Location Plan 2016
1 Hasslacher + Nordlam Sachsenburg, Magdeburg 340,000
2 Mayr-Melnhof Holz Gaishorn 230,000
3 Binderholz ¹⁾  Jenbach 225,000
4 Mosser Randegg 170,000
5 Schneider Eberhardzell 135,000
6 Hüttemann Wismar 120,000
7 Bullinger Neuruppin 120,000
8 Pfeifer Holz Imst 110,000
9 Weinberger Holz Abtenau, Reichenfels 105,000
10 Eugen Decker Morbach 100,000