Evansville-area hardwood company sold

April 9, 2008

A hardwood company headquartered in the Evansville-area town of Chandler has been sold to a similar company in West Virginia because, the owner said, the company was stuck in a no-man's land.

"We were too small to be a big company and too big to be a small company," said Indiana Hardwoods LLC owner and President Barry Cook.

Cook sold Indiana Hardwoods to Cranberry IH LLC, a Beckley, W.Va., holding company that also owns Cranberry Hardwoods, for an undisclosed price. Cook, 58, is now Cranberry IH LLC president and chief operating officer.

Indiana Hardwoods had 175 workers, including 50 at its headquarters and a sawmill and kiln-drying operation in Chandler. Other operations are in Cloverport, Ky., and in the Tennessee towns of Lafayette and Gordonsville. About 10 workers across the operation no longer are with the combined company.

The company generates about $48 million a year in sales.

Indiana Hardwoods was large enough to need human resources staff and other functions of a large company but too small to compete, Cook said.

Cranberry is a similar size, but the companies' materials procurement and customer base didn't overlap, Cook said.

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