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Diversification Through Acquisition: JC Pallet Company

Diversification Through Acquisition: JC Pallet Company

  • May 29, 2024
  • by Columbia Forest Products

What is DTA?

One of Columbia Forest Products’ corporate initiatives is Diversification Through Acquisition (DTA). Through this program, Columbia primarily aims to acquire businesses in different industries to achieve a more diverse income stream for its current and future employee-owners.

Columbia also wishes to acquire companies with strong, shared values and an interest in sharing the benefits of employee ownership with its staff.

Who Is J.C. Pallet Company?

J.C. Pallet was founded in 1990 by John Combs Sr., who started repairing and selling recycled pallets, reclaimed lumber, woodchips and, eventually, mulch. Over the years, it became a family business, with John Sr., his wife, their two children and their spouses all getting involved.

Today, Holly Miller-Bopp (John’s daughter) is the President of J.C. Pallet, her husband, Larry, manages national accounts and her brother, John Jr., oversees sales.

Since Holly joined the family business in 2001, she has seen decades of success in growing the company. However, she has also watched her older parents worry over the business and its future.

Holly and others at J.C. Pallet realized they would need outside help to secure their legacy and grow further without putting too much strain on family members. So, they began to explore selling the business.

Building Together

J.C. Pallet connected with Columbia Forest Products and began the time-intensive process of determining whether the two parties were a fit. By developing close relationships over time, it was easy to see that the companies’ family values aligned perfectly.

Plus, one of the things J.C. Pallet is most proud of is its employees who have stayed for 10, 20 or even 30 years. So, for them, the idea of employee ownership and building a culture centered around the staff was very natural.

On November 1, 2022, Columbia purchased J.C. Pallet Company and has worked closely to ensure its success and growth. According to Holly, one of the greatest parts of the acquisition was its seamless process.

“It’s almost been two years, and I haven’t heard a single one of our customers say there was any change in service. And, for our employees, any changes have all been positive.” From the start, Columbia prioritized making sure employees felt comfortable with the transition and received all the benefits of employee ownership within a family-orientated business.

So far, J.C. Pallet has started up programs with Corporate Chaplains of America to offer its employees counsel. Caring Teams dedicated to assisting employees in need and benefiting the areas in which J.C. Pallet operates have also started.

One Columbia employee, Jason Allison, also began working as plant manager at the Bladenboro location in May 2024. Overall, both companies have seen remarkable success since joining together with little disruption to any existing customers and are excited for the years of growth ahead.

Columbia wants to thank all its employees and the staff at J.C. Pallet for making a smooth transition even smoother with their amazing attitudes and openness.

Reaching Out

If you or someone you know owns a business that you think would be a good fit for Columbia’s DTA initiative, leave a message on Columbia’s Legacy website.