Austria-based Binder Beteiligungs AG submitted the winning bid at auction for the Klausner Lumber One LLC sawmill in Live Oak, Fla.
Binder out-bid Austria-based Mayr-Melnhof Holz and Vancouver-headquartered Mercer International. In the preliminary (Stalking Horse) round of bidding, Mercer had bid $26 million and Binder subsequently increased it to $30 million. But the winning bid tally by Binder (acting through Timber One Acquisition Holdings LLC) reached $61 million plus liabilities, while Mayr-Melnhof was the backup bidder. The bankruptcy court is expected to approve the sale at a hearing on August 31.
The Florida sawmill, which started up in 2015 with 350MMBF of annual production capacity, has basically stumbled through the ensuing years, and earlier this year its ownership filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Foundation problems and labor issues apparently plagued the sawmill from the outset.
Family-owned Binder of Fügen, Austria operates in 12 locations in Austria, Germany and Finland producing lumber, CLT and laminated beams. Binder has continued to expand its CLT production capacity in Germany and Austria and there’s some speculation whether Binder will bring CLT manufacturing to the Florida sawmill site.
Another Klausner operation, Klausner Lumber Two sawmill in Enfield, NC, has also filed for bankruptcy. It reportedly never reached production.
Mercer, known more for its pulp mill manufacturing, purchased a Klausner sawmill in Germany back in 2017.
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