Conifex Completes Acquisition of Arkansas, Florida Sawmills

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018 9:11 am   2 min read

Conifex Timber Inc.

Conifex Timber Inc. of Vancouver said Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of the Caddo River sawmill in Glenwood, Arkansas, and the Suwannee sawmill in Cross City, Florida, in a deal worth more than $250 million.

The company, which announced in May that it would purchase the sawmills, said Charles Miller and George Judd have been appointed to its board of directors.

Miller is a partner at Blue Wolf Capital Partners, the New York-based private equity firm that owned the sawmills. Judd is strategic adviser to Blue Wolf.

"We are pleased to announce the completion of this transformative transaction, which significantly increases our presence in the U.S. South, a region that is home to some of the fastest growing housing markets in the U.S.," Ken Shields, Conifex's president and CEO, said in a news release. "As a result of this acquisition, our total annual lumber production capacity has increased by approximately 50 percent to 1.1 billion board feet and our total annual production capacity in the U.S. South has increased by approximately 200 percent to 550 million board feet."

Blue Wolf acquired and invested in Suwannee Lumber Co. and Caddo River Forest Products after the two struggled in the wake of the financial crisis. 

Caddo, which employed hundreds of residents in a town of just 2,500 people, closed its sawmill in Glenwood in 2011. In 2017, Blue Wolf invested in the plant, upgrading equipment and improving infrastructure. It re-opened the plant with more than 100 employees.

"The progress at Caddo and Suwannee has been a big positive in Glenwood, Arkansas, and Dixie County, Florida. It has validated Blue Wolf's approach to solving complex challenges, strengthening businesses, and delivering value to its investors," Miller said. "I'm proud to say that, under Blue Wolf's leadership, both Suwannee and Caddo have been transformed into companies with a very bright future, and I look forward to continuing our work together."



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