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Owens Corning Corp., based in Toledo, Ohio, will acquire the WearDeck composite decking division of JR Plastics Corp. to strengthen its position in the building and construction market and help it grow its sales to $10 billion by 2024.

WearDeck panels are extruded from Owens Corning fiberglass-reinforced high-density polyethylene at JR Plastics headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ocala, Florida. The division employs approximately 100 people.

Owens Corning acquires the WearDeck business and associated assets, but not the facility. The purchaser will assume a third-party lease of the building and parts of the real estate.

WearDeck sales are expected to reach $60 million in 2022 and grow significantly in coming years, according to a press release about the deal. The purchase is expected to be finalized in the second quarter.

Owens Corning’s sales are also up 20% to $8.5 billion in 2021 for its three business units: insulation, roofing and composite products. Company officials see the acquisition of a composite decking manufacturer as a good way to continue the trend.

The North American decking market is valued at more than $7 billion and will grow about 5% per year, according to Owens Corning estimates. Composite decking products account for approximately 30% of this market.

Owens Corning Composites President Marcio Sandri said the company is pivoting to focus on “high-value material solutions in building and construction.” Currently, the company offers ready-to-spun rovings, nonwovens and binder technology for window coverings, flooring, ceilings, wall coverings and insulation.

“WearDeck offers exciting opportunities to further leverage our building materials expertise and fiberglass materials science technology to significantly expand our current addressable markets,” said Sandri.

WearDeck is made with fiberglass reinforced HDPE and a proprietary blend of additives – pigments, stabilizers and UV and static inhibitors – for added strength and durability. The product does not use recycled HDPE or organic materials such as wood.

The boards are twice as strong as the competition, the website says, and are designed for ground contact and underwater applications, which opens the door to more building opportunities.

WearDeck panels are available in eight colors and profiles for marine, residential, commercial and municipal applications. Two sizes of planks are designed for use as substructure, meaning completely wood-free projects are possible.

Owens Corning can take WearDeck to the next level, according to founder James Wear.

“I am very pleased with WearDeck’s strong performance over the years and would like to sincerely thank our highly motivated team for their dedication and hard work in building a thriving composite decking business,” Wear said in the release. “The combination with Owens Corning will accelerate the growth of this business and greatly benefit our customers.”

Wear has been selling the composite decking bearing its name for three years, according to its LinkedIn page. Prior to that, he worked for a year as a production analyst at JR Plastics, which was preceded by a four-month stint as the company’s marketing coordinator.

JR Plastics remains in operation and, following the closing of the acquisition, will continue to operate additional product divisions for plastic angles and sheets. The corner panels, made from 100% recycled HDPE, were developed in 1996 for the shipping needs of the banana industry.

Terms of the WearDeck deal were not disclosed.