Maine lumber and building supply companies Viking Lumber Inc. and Rhoades Building Products Inc. announced Wednesday they would merge under the Viking Lumber name on Jan. 1 and continue to operate their combined 10 locations throughout the state.

"We have exceptional employees and this merger presents a great opportunity for the combined company to better serve the expanded coastal community," David Flanagan, Viking Lumber's president, said in a news release.

The Flanagan family and current Rhoades CEO Chris Rhoades will comprise ownership of the company. The merged operation will retain nearly 200 employees and 10 locations across coastal and eastern Maine: Belfast, Blue Hill, Ellsworth, Hancock, Holden, Lincolnville, Machias, Milbridge, Vinalhaven, and Warren.

"Employees truly make the difference and I am very excited about the collective strength of our new team," said Rhoades. "The Flanagan family is such a class act. I am honored to become partners with them as we merge our companies and grow the combined entity."

Viking Lumber was founded in 1944 as a lumber mill owned and operated by Jud Flanagan and his brother-in-law, Gene Rich. The Flanagan family has owned and operated it since. Rhoades Building Products was founded and is owned by Rhoades. The company was created after he purchased H.F. Pinkham in 2004 and expanded in 2006 when he opened a window/door showroom and purchased Granville Lumber. He re-branded all five locations as Rhoades Building Products.