January 24, 2014
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Pallet USA Expands Product, Service Lines through Acquisition of Goeman's Wood Products
Pallet USA now offers a broad range of pallet and wooden packaging services via the acquisition of Goeman's Wood Products. Both companies are in metropolitan Milwaukee.

Pallet USA, LLC, of Lannon, Wis., has significantly expanded its product and service line through the acquisition of a majority of the assets of Goeman's Wood Products, Inc., of Hartford, Wis.

"Along with the sustainably reconditioned pallets we're known for, Pallet USA customers can now benefit from the extensive products and services of Goeman's Wood Products, including new wooden pallets, wooden shipping crates and package engineering," said John Sonn, Pallet USA president.

Sonn had been serving as controller of Goeman's Wood Products and was named president of Pallet USA upon the acquisition. His knowledge of Goeman's customer base and market will ensure a smooth consolidation of the two business operations, said John Syburg of Brookfield, Wis.-based Blackthorne Partners, which owns Pallet USA as part of its private equity portfolio.

The combined operation will be known as Pallet USA as the Goeman's Wood Products name is replaced with the Pallet USA name in the coming months.

Pallet USA will retain the 65,000-square-foot Goeman's Wood Products facility in Hartford, along with its facility in Lannon. Corporate offices will relocate from Lannon to Hartford. Company leadership anticipates that continued business growth will lead to additional employment for both locations.

The Hartford plant features a Viking Turbo automated pallet assembly machine that can make 2,400 pallets in an eight-hour shift, a heat-treating chamber, and the package design offices.

The combined business now offers:
* new and reconditioned standard 48x40 pallets
* custom-sized pallets
* pallet repairs
* shipping crates
* engineering/design for wooden packaging or crating
* pick-up and delivery

"With this transaction, Pallet USA is a one-stop shop for businesses in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. We have the capacity to serve companies in the Fortune 500 range to small businesses," Sonn said. "Along with this great product and service line-up, we promise outstanding customer care and service."

Goeman's Wood Products was started in 1973 and expanded several times since then. The sale of a majority of the company's assets is part of former sole owner Danny Goeman's transition to retirement.

Pallet USA was organized in 2011 by Blackthorne Partners' acquisition of an existing pallet reconditioner, with the goal of expanding its operations and serving markets throughout the Midwest. The acquisition of Goeman's Wood Products is the first major step toward that goal. Pallet USA will continue to seek additional pallet industry acquisition opportunities, said Steve Balistreri, a partner in Blackthorne Partners.

"We believe we can bring significant efficiencies to the pallet industry -- efficiencies that will benefit the many market sectors that rely on pallets and crates for shipping and material handling," Balistreri said. "This acquisition is a major step toward that goal for Pallet USA," he added.

Pallet USA is a member of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association.

The company is online at

Blackthorne Partners focuses on small private companies in the upper Midwest with $4 million to $15 million in revenues and EBITDA of $1 million. It's portfolio includes skid steer attachment manufacturer Berlon Industries, SAP information technology consultants group:basis, and Integrated Medical Partners, which owns a portfolio of health care information technology service businesses.
Focused on addressing the equity and liquidity needs of small businesses in the Upper Midwest