JAF Group takes over sites of timber wholesaler DLH

Traditional business expands into Asia and Central Africa

From 31 October 2014 (subject to the competition authority’s approval), the international JAF Group based in Stockerau – known in Austria under the name J. u. A. Frischeis – will be the new owner of DLH Asia and Africa, the target markets being China, Vietnam and Cameroon. The total turnover for this division of DLH has been around EUR 74 million annually. The DLH Group is a stock market listed company which specialises in the worldwide wholesale of timber and timber products, and has been in Danish family ownership for more than 100 years. It thus displays parallels with its new owner JAF: founded in 1948 by Josef and Antonia Frischeis, the JAF Group with 50 branches in 13 countries is now Central Europe’s leading wholesaler of wood and wood based materials, and has remained an owner-managed company up to today. The JAF Group decided to acquire DLH Asia and Africa because of the potential growth there. In addition, these markets fit perfectly with their plans to extend the international radius of the JAF Group. Up to now their global marketing expertise has mainly been in the areas of veneers and sawn timber – to be specific hardwood. Now they intend to follow this with further product areas.

Until the late 1990s the JAF Group concentrated on expanding the company in Austria. Since the beginning of the 1990s, in parallel it has also focussed on international growth: starting with the Czech Republic, then expanding quickly during the following years into other countries such as Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. The JAF Group is also running its own sawmill and veneer production in Braşov (Romania) since 2007 under the name “J.F.Furnir”. Since 2005 the young markets have followed, namely Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, Russia and Serbia. With 50 branches in 13 countries, the JAF Group has a dense network in Central and Eastern Europe. The company has established itself as a service-oriented partner for the wood processing industry, the construction sector and resale. Today the JAF Group is the market leader in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia.

The JAF Group regards the integration of the DLH sales areas China, Vietnam and Cameroon into our company as a great chance – the customers will benefit from the worldwide network and the company will now be able to access by means of this expansion. DLH customers in these markets will immediately enjoy the additional benefit of being able to draw on the decades of know-how, strong logistics and well-founded contacts of a market leader in Central and Eastern Europe: with the JAF Group's branches they are represented right on the spot and are thus excellently informed about market conditions. Internationally they have direct access to the best procurement markets, and benefit from the experience and opportunities of a global group.

Behind the JAF Group is a traditional company whose word is its bond: The company has always aimed to build relationships with its customers and suppliers that will last for many years, as well as maintaining a balanced mix of innovation and tradition. In this area too, the philosophy is a very good fit with the principles of DLH – as a family company it appreciates the values and long-standing commercial traditions of the Danish group, and will continue to work with these.

The JAF Group management team:

Werner Stix, Markus Sax and Miroslav Malzenicky.