Conifex Timber Buys Sawmills in Arkansas, Florida

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, May. 16, 2018 11:28 am   1 min read

Conifex Timber Inc.

Conifex Timber Inc. of Vancouver said Tuesday that it will purchase two sawmills in Arkansas and Florida, part of a deal worth more than $250 million.

The company said the move will expand its lumber production capacity by 50 percent to about 1.1 billion board feet. The deal will give the company control of the Caddo River sawmill in Glenwood, Arkansas, and the Suwannee sawmill in Cross City, Florida.

Both mills completed multimillion-dollar modernization projects last year. The Caddo River mill restarted in May 2017 after a $14 million investment; the Florida mill completed a $12 million upgrade.

Conifex struck deal with two groups for the sawmills: BW SLC Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC; and the minority shareholders of Caddo River Forest Products LLC.

Caddo River Forest Products announced plans in 2016 to restart the Glenwood mill. Its backers put in $50 million; the state provided almost $1.5 million in incentives. The mill was originally built by Georgia Pacific in the early 1970s, and employed about 200 people at its peak before it closed.

Conifex already owns a sawmill in El Dorado — another former Georgia Pacific plant that restarted last year after an $80 million modernization project. In a news release, Conifex President and CEO Ken Shields said Tuesday's purchase is "highly strategic and transformative" for the company, combining two "successful growth oriented companies" to create a leading lumber producer. 

"The Suwannee and Caddo River mills significantly increase our presence in the U.S. South, which we have identified as an important strategic area with proximity to high-quality and abundant fibre supply in addition to some of North America's fastest growing population centres and housing markets," Shields said.



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