Building trends have led two forest products companies in Idaho to merge. Bennett Forest Products and Riley Creek Lumber, as outlined in this Associated Press piece, say they are doing so to strengthen ties to larger customers, including Home Depot and Lowe's, to offset a recent fall in business from small contractors.
The strategy is designed to meet demands from the retailers that "suppliers be large enough to guarantee delivery of lumber products." Riley Creek supplied the retailers previously; Bennett did not.
According to the AP article, the merger may help the one-time competitors dig in for a continued drop in demand for lumber due to the housing industry decline. Prices for certain types of lumber have dropped by nearly half.