Canadian Manufacturing

B.C.’s West Fraser to buy six U.S. sawmills for $430M

The Canadian forestry firm will buy the Gilman Companies, adding to its production capacity in the southeast U.S.


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VANCOUVER—Canadian wood products company West Fraser Timber Co. is adding six sawmills and a finger joint mill to its roster of U.S. operations.

The B.C.-based company said July 26 it has agreed to buy the seven sites from the Howard Gilman Foundation for US$430 million.

The facilities are located in the southeast U.S. in Florida and Gerogia and add to the more than a dozen U.S. locations the company already operates. West Fraser said the seven mills employ about 900 workers and can produce about 700 million board feet of lumber each year.

“This is a long‑term strategic move that strengthens our core lumber business and gives us increased scale and geographic diversification. Growing our lumber business has been one of our key strategic goals,” Ted Seraphim, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a U.S. lumber producer of a meaningful scale with high quality facilities and a culture similar to our own,” he added.

The acquisition will increase West Fraser’s U.S. capacity to 43 per cent of its overall production—though the majority of its capacity remains in Canada in B.C. and Alberta.


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