Metalworks acquires Norton Shores manufacturer

December 7, 2023

Metalworks acquires Norton Shores manufacturer

LUDINGTON — Metalworks Inc. announced today that it has acquired Flairwood of Norton Shores. For the past seven years, Flairwood, a manufacturer of laminate cabinets and carts for the healthcare, education and commercial furniture industries, has supplied product to Metalworks, a Ludington-based manufacturer specializing in metal products for the office furniture industry with two locations. Metalworks plans no operational changes and will maintain manufacturing at all three locations.

With the acquisition, Metalworks will be able to reach a more diverse customer base and expand its line of metal filing, storage and organizational products with the addition of Flairwood’s laminate case goods. With the expanded manufacturing capabilities, the companies will work together to develop new products in laminate, wood, metal and mixed materials for multiple markets.

Flairwood will also benefit from greater partnership with Great Openings, the direct-to-dealer sales division of Metalworks, to improve its sales and distribution. Terms of the deal, which was finalized on Nov. 30, were not disclosed in a press release sent by Metalworks.

“We are so pleased to welcome Flairwood to the Metalworks family,” said Scott Lakari, president of Metalworks. “Adding Flairwood was a natural fit for many reasons. Both companies are family-owned businesses with solid roots in our communities and strong corporate cultures focused on employees.

“We share values in providing the best in customer service and customized product solutions to meet new and expanding needs. Flairwood’s manufacturing capabilities complement ours in ways that will position our businesses for future success. We look forward to growing together.”

Metalworks and Flairwood have partnered together on products for the past seven years, jointly developing and producing a successful laminate locker line and other personal storage products for the office furniture industry. Both companies have a commitment to lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, which enables them to produce high-quality products efficiently and on time.

“We are delighted to join the Metalworks family, which shares our commitment to growing business with integrity and reliability,” said Wayne Baxter, president of Flairwood. “We have continually invested in Flairwood to grow the company into a thriving business with an excellent reputation. This transaction enables us to take another step forward to ensure our continued success.

“We look forward to learning from our colleagues at Metalworks. They have an established strength in sales with a national distribution footprint and an effective product development process that Flairwood will benefit from.”

Lakari will continue to serve as president of Metalworks, the umbrella company over each individual business, which will retain their brand names. Baxter will continue to lead Flairwood as part of the Metalworks executive team.

Established in 1966, Metalworks has grown into two locations: Metalworks in Ludington and Fab-Lite in Manistee. Both plants work closely together, supplying one another with components and combining orders for shipment to customers. Between the two facilities, Metalworks has approximately 200 employees and maintains 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Flairwood, also a family-owned company, is a leading supplier of laminate cabinets and carts. Established in 1976, Flairwood has been delivering storage solutions designed and manufactured to meet the diverse needs of its clients for more than 45 years. The company maintains a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility in Norton Shores with approximately 40 employees.

“Working together, we look forward to building on our collective strengths to develop innovative products with both steel and laminate materials for our growing markets,” Lakari said. “We see tremendous growth potential to develop new products and add new customers.”

About Metalworks

Based in Ludington, Metalworks Inc. is an award-winning, family-owned manufacturing company specializing in metal case goods for the office furniture industry, along with its sister company, Fab-Lite, Inc., based in Manistee. Metalworks products are sold under the Great Openings brand, a direct-to-dealer sales division. More information is available at metalworks1.com and GreatOpenings.com.

About Flairwood

Established in 1976 and based in Norton Shores, Flairwood is a leading supplier of laminate cabinets and carts for the healthcare, education and commercial furniture industries. The company also has a strong presence in architectural millwork for the construction industry as well as laminate case goods for corporate offices. Since its purchase in 2015 by Wayne Baxter and Joel Pyper and their families, the company has grown into a thriving business focused on four pillars — People, Passion, Action and Perseverance. These pillars are the foundation to growing the business with integrity and reliability. Flairwood’s engineering and design team works with clients to provide component parts or complete customized product solutions at competitive prices. More information is available at flairwood.com.

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