UPDATE: Canadian Firm Buys Two Arkansas Lumber Companies

by Jan Cottingham  on Friday, Apr. 4, 2014 10:55 am  

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. has bought two Arkansas sawmill and lumber manufacturing operations in the last month: Travis Lumber Co. of Mansfield and Bibler Brothers Lumber of Russellville.

Details of the sale weren't released, and a call to West Fraser's U.S. headquarters was not immediately returned. Travis and Bibler were among the only independent mill owners left in Arkansas.

Bibler Brothers currently employs more than 200, and Travis Lumber employed more than 100 as of 2011, the latest data available.

Travis had operated at the Mansfield site since 1988 and the mill turned out more than 100 million board feet of lumber last year, according to a press release from West Fraser, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

West Fraser plans to invest in the Mansfield mill to expand annual production to 150 million board feet.

The winter 2011 issue of the Kingwood Forestry Services Inc. newsletter reported that Travis Lumber employed more than 100 people. Gilbert Travis bought the Mansfield mill in 1988 from Kansas City Railroad, the newsletter said.

The Arkansas-based Bibler Brothers Lumber sawmill produced about 136 million board feet of lumber in 2013 and more than 160 million board feet in 2005, according to West Fraser. 

"Completion of the Bibler Brothers Lumber acquisition is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions which are expected to be satisfied before the end of April," the Canadian firm said. 

Once the Bibler Brothers sale is complete, West Fraser will own four sawmills in Arkansas as well as sawmills in Texas and Louisiana.

"We are pleased to be growing and welcoming new employees to West Fraser in the U.S. South and in western Canada," said West Fraser President and CEO Ted Seraphim. "We expect that these acquisitions will enhance our current operations in Alberta and Arkansas and will further position West Fraser to take advantage of the expected strengthening of our lumber markets."



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