Canada’s International Forest Products Ltd. agreed Sunday to acquire Tolleson Ilim Lumber Co. from Russia’s Ilim Timber Continental SA for $180 million, including working capital, in a deal that would make it one of the five largest lumber producers in North America based on production capacity.

Tolleson operates two sawmills in Perry and Preston, Ga., in the U.S. southeast with combined annual lumber capacity of more than 400 million board feet, complementing International Forest’s operations in nearby Thomaston and Eatonton, Ga.

International Forest, or Interfor, said the transaction will allow it to increase by almost 20% its annual lumber production capacity to 2.6 billion board feet ranking it among the top-five lumber companies in North America, while providing it a platform for future growth and annual cost savings and efficiencies of more than $5 million. Vancouver-based Interfor is ranked about eighth among North American lumber producers based on production capacity.

Following the acquisition, Interfor’s operations in the U.S. southeast will represent about 35% of its production capacity.

“This transaction represents a significant step for Interfor,” Duncan Davies, Interfor’s chief executive, said in a release. “The Tolleson mills are a great fit with our operations in the U.S. southeast and provide a larger footprint on which to build our presence in the region.”

From The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304104504579373152116338362?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304104504579373152116338362.html