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Stahlmans to sell to Stine Lumber

You could say that a mail mix-up led to the sale of Stahlman Lumber Co. to Sulphur, La.-based Stine Lumber. The companies belong to the same building material co-op, Allied Building Stores, and, since their companies had similar names, they started getting mail from each other about 30 years ago.

&uot;That’s how we got to know each other — sorting out our mail,&uot; said Cappy Stahlman, vice president and chairman of Staco Inc. The two families have been friends even since.

So when the Stines, owners of a growing lumber and hardware chain in south and central Louisiana, called the Stahlmans last year to ask if the Stahlmans were ready to sell, it seemed like a perfect fit.

Next weekend, the sale of Stahlman’s to Stine Lumber for an undisclosed amount will be final. In March or early April, the store will change its name to Stine, hold a grand opening and open a complete lawn and garden center, said Tim Stine, accounting and finance manager for Stine Lumber.

&uot;We want to be established in (gardeners’) minds by the time gardening season rolls around,&uot;&160;said Stine, one of six brothers who run the company along with their father, Chairman Emeritus J.W. Stine.

Stahlman Lumber was started in 1945 by Stahlman’s parents, moved to its present location on U.S. 61 South in the 1950s and became a full home center in 1978.

Stine Lumber, which started as a contracting business in 1945, has nine stores with more than 500 employees in south and central Louisiana. Recent acquisitions include family-owned stores in Natchitoches and Crowley, La.

Both J.W. and Tim Stine were in town Friday to meet with Stahlman and his sister, Jacque, president of Staco Inc., and learn more the day-to-day operations of Stahlman Lumber.

Next weekend, J.W. Stine will return to Natchez to further look over the business and close the deal along with all six sons.

They include David, marketing and ad manager; Dennis, general manager; Gary, construction and properties manager; Richard, an internal auditor of Stine Lumber and board member of Ace Hardware; and Jay, manager of Stine’s DeRidder, La., store.

&uot;Buying us was a coup for (the Stines), and having them will be a coup for Natchez,&uot; said Cappy Stahlman who, along with sister Jacque, will probably stay on as consultants for Stine Lumber.

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