West Fraser continues to grow its lumber business in the U.S. South and in western Canada. The company announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Bibler Brothers Lumber sawmill and lumber manufacturing operations located in Russellville, Arkansas. The company also announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Buchanan Lumber sawmill located in High Prairie, Alberta from Gordon Buchanan Enterprises Ltd.
The Alberta based Buchanan Lumber sawmill has an annual capacity of approximately 110 million board feet of lumber. West Fraser plans to invest additional capital in the mill to expand the annual production capacity to approximately 175 million board feet. The acquisition includes timber rights having an annual allowable harvest of approximately 430,000 cubic meters of coniferous timber and 21,000 cubic meters of deciduous timber. The company expects that the Buchanan Lumber sawmill and related assets will be complementary to several of West Fraser’s existing Alberta operations.
The Arkansas based Bibler Brothers Lumber sawmill produced approximately 136 million board feet of lumber in 2013 and in excess of 160 million board feet in 2005. Russellville is located in western Arkansas and is approximately 80 miles from West Fraser’s recently acquired sawmill in Mansfield, Arkansas. 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. Once completed, West Fraser will own four sawmills in Arkansas as well as sawmills in neighboring 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’s 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.”