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West Fraser expands lumber presence in southern U.S.

[ Canada ] West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. says it’s poised to become North America’s second-largest lumber producer when it completes a deal to buy 13 sawmills from International Paper for approximately US$325 million. The sawmills are in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, and have a combined annual production capacity of approximately 1.8 billion board feet of lumber. They employ 2,200 people. Once the deal is completed, Vancouver-based West Fraser will have combined Canadian and U.S. production capacity of approximately 6.2 billion board feet. CEO Hank Ketcham said the deal was a “long-term strategic move” that strengthened the company’s core lumber business, gives it significant new geographic, fibre and product diversification, and establishes West Fraser as a major presence in the U.S. South.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes www.southernsustainableforests.org

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