Canfor Corporation has entered into an agreement to purchase 70 per cent of the VIDA Group, Sweden’s largest privately owned sawmill company. (Black Press file photo)

Canfor secures additional timber in Europe

Expansion opportunities in B.C. “limited,” says company

Canfor Corporation is securing access to additional fibre outside of Canada as the company says growth potential in B.C. has become “limited.”

The company has recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase 70 per cent of the VIDA Group, Sweden’s largest privately owned sawmill company.

According to Don Kayne, Canfor’s president and chief executive officer, the $580 million acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, was mainly driven by their global customers.

“[With] some of that AAC reductions due to the mountain pine beetle and some of the recent forest fires that we’ve all had to deal with in the past couple of years, the expansion opportunities were certainly limited in B.C., but our customers are growing and we need to keep pace with them,” he said during a news conference.

READ MORE: Too soon to assess timber damage: province

“This acquisition enables us to secure additional fibre and an operational platform outside of Canada that will allow for the type of growth we need to support our customers.”

Canfor says it remains “committed to B.C.,” and “proudly headquartered” in Vancouver, with the majority of their wood product production in British Columbia.

Canfor owns 38 production facilities, 21 of which are in B.C.

“With our proximity to the growing Asian market, B.C. continues to be an important production region for Canfor,” stated the company. “We believe the acquisition of VIDA will create an even stronger company for the future.”

VIDA operates nine sawmills in southern Sweden, as well as nine value-added facilities that include premium packaging, modular housing, industrial products and energy. The current owners of VIDA will retain a 30 per cent interest and continue to manage the day-to-day business.

Houston sawmill plans extended downtime at Christmas

Houston sawmill workers can expect an extended downtime this Christmas, between Dec. 24 and 28.

The mill will also be down on Nov. 30.

The company announced Nov. 1 that lumber production in B.C. would be reduced over the fourth quarter through a decrease in operating days.

READ MORE: Houston sawmill operations curtailed last week

According to Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, the mill was already scheduled to be down prior to the announcement on the statutory holidays of Dec. 25-26.

Ward added that maintenance activities will still take place when the Houston mill is not running.

Canfor intends to resume full production in the first quarter of 2019.


 

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