Besse Forest Products Group sold to Hoffmann Family

By Ilsa Minor


ESCANABA — After nearly 60 years of local ownership, Besse Forest Products Group has been sold to the Hoffmann Family of Companies.

“We are excited to partner with Besse as they enter a new chapter under the Hoffmann Family of Companies umbrella,” said Geoff Hoffmann, Co-CEO of HFOC in a press release announcing the sale. “Our commitment to growth and excellence in manufacturing drives every decision we make. With the acquisition of Besse Forest Products Group, we’re not just expanding our footprint but building on a legacy that spans generations.”

Founded by John Besse in 1966 with the launch of Northern Michigan Veneers, Inc. in Gladstone, Besse Forest Products Group expanded significantly over decades. It now operates a network of sawmills, wood drying facilities and veneer and plywood factories across northern Michigan and Wisconsin.

According to HFOC, the strategic move adds to the company’s portfolio, complementing their existing Ferche Millwork operations. Combined, the two operations gives HFOC over 2 million square feet of production facilities and a workforce of more than 1,400 people in wood products manufacturing.

Greg Besse, CEO and owner of Besse Forest Products Group, expressed confidence in the acquisition.

“The decision to join forces with the Hoffmann Family of Companies was based on their exceptional brand and reputation as a well-run family business. We believe this partnership will not only modernize our operations but also ensure that our legacy continues to thrive,” he said.

Greg Besse will continue in his role as CEO of the Besse Forest Products Group, overseeing the entire operation.

According to HFOC, the acquisition further solidifies Besse Forest Products Group as one of North America’s largest privately-owned producers of hardwood veneer, lumber and specialty plywood. Besse Forest Products Group operates ten manufacturing facilities operating in the United States, including four veneer mills, four sawmills, one lumber drying concentration yard and one cut-to-size plywood mill.

Like Besse Forest Products Group, which has been family-owned since its inception, HFOC is family-owned. It is a multi-vertical company consisting of over 100 national brands, employs 9,000 global employees with businesses located in 30 countries and 250 locations around the world. HFOC includes companies specializing in aviation, agriculture, financial services, hospitality, business and professional services, industrial, manufacturing, marine, media and marketing, real estate and transportation.


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