Struggling Canfor acquires three Swedish sawmills via subsidiary
June 18, 2020 | 11:19 am CDT
VANCOUVER - Canadian lumber giant Canfor announced that Vida Group, its 70-percent-owned subsidiary, will purchase three sawmills in Sweden from Bergs Timber. The purchase price is $43 million.
“We are excited that Vida’s strong performance and balance sheet has enabled them to grow their operating footprint in Sweden,” said Don Kayne, president and CEO of Canfor.
The three mills, all located in Sweden, will add around 215 million board feet to Vida's annual output. Additional investments can boost capacity up to 300 million board feet, says Vida.
Sweden now makes up 22 percent of Canfor's total output. The rest is 43 percent from British Columbia, 31 percent from the Southern U.S., and four percent in Alberta.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Early June, Canfor acquired South Carolina-based Elliot Sawmilling for $110 million. News of the purchase came less than one month after Canfor announced it would close its Isle Pierre sawmill, located near Prince George, British Columbia. That closure is expected to take effect in the third quarter of 2020 following an orderly wind-down of operations. According to Canfor, the closure is a result of an insufficient supply of economically viable timber following the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, coupled with the major global economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the current one-shift operation,  Isle  Pierre sawmill has an annual production capacity of approximately 120 million board feet.

Canfor has fallen on hard times, reporting an operating loss of $88.8 million in the first quarter, as well as a $59.6 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canfor (TSX:CFP) is an integrated forest products company with interests in British Columbia, Alberta, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as in Sweden with its majority acquisition of Vida Group.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at