Home » Canfor buying Tembec’s regional assets

Posted: November 29, 2011

Canfor buying Tembec’s regional assets

Tembec Industries Ltd.’s operations at Canal Flats and Elko are being purchased by Canfor Corporation for $60 million.

The Elko Sawmill

Canfor announced Nov. 28 that it has signed an agreement to acquire Tembec’s southern British Columbia interior wood products assets, for a purchase price including working capital of $60 million, including the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills  and approximately 1.1 million cubic metres of combined Crown, private land and contract annual allowable cut.

The transaction will include a long-term agreement to provide residual fibre supply for Tembec’s Skookumchuck mill.

“This acquisition is a key step in our ongoing approach to strengthening Canfor’s fibre position in B.C. and deepens our ability to meet the needs of our valued global customers,” stated Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne in a press release. “We are very pleased to have worked with Tembec President and CEO Jim Lopez in advancing the strategic objectives of both companies.”

Canfor says it intends to make capital investments in excess of $50 million to enhance productivity and cost performance in its BC Southern Interior mill facilities. The Elko and Canal Flats mills, the largest in the East Kootenay, will provide an additional 420 million board feet to Canfor’s annual capacity, bringing Canfor’s total capacity in North America to greater than five billion board feet.

Each mill employees about 160 people, and a further 135 office and forest management staff, most based at the Cranbrook head office, are also included in the sale.

“Canfor is not only acquiring mills and fibre supply in this agreement, but also a talented employee and contractor group” said Don Kayne. “We expect to continue Tembec’s legacy of strong community and First Nations relationships. Canfor is readying itself to supply the growing demand from Asia Pacific markets that we, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada have worked so hard to build, as well as key strategic customers in North America. Our decision to make a significant new investment in BC is premised on the province’s stable, cost-conscious policy environment and exceptional commitment to market development.”

Canfor expects to engage with the Forest Stewardship Council in relation to maintaining FSC certification of the forest tenures. When that process is complete, the company will have fibre certified to all three major North American forest certification systems, including the Canadian Standards Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council. This supply diversity strengthens Canfor’s position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of green building products.

The transaction with Tembec is subject to various customary closing conditions including regulatory approval and is expected to complete late in the first quarter of 2012.

Tembec purchased the sawmills in 1999 when it acquired all of Crestbrook Forest Industries Ltd.’s properties.

The purchase of the mills sees a return to the region by Canfor, which closed its Radium Hot Springs mill two years ago. It was believed the mill would re-open in the future but there is no word on that happening any time soon. Many of Canfor’s Radium employees found work at Tembec’s Canal Flats mill.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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