LIVE OAK, Fla. - The Austrian-owned Klausner Lumber One has been acquired by fellow Austrian lumber producer Binderholz in an auction for $61 million. Klausner made waves when it filed for bankruptcy back in March, prompting a lawsuit from employees.
Klausner shut down its Florida mill abruptly March 16 - around the same time its Austrian-born management team returned to their home country due to fears of COVID. But employees were never paid for their final weeks. They launched a lawsuit, saying the company failed to provide at least a 60-day notice, violating the WARN Act.
A settlement was proposed, declaring a new owner must purchase the property, bring the facility back online, and put employees back to work.
With the Binderholz acquistion, that seems to have been reached.
Binderholz says the purchase was strategic, at it sees extreme growth in the U.S. for Southern Yellow Pine, the primary product made at the mill.
Reinhard Binder, CEO of binderholz, said "We see the American solid wood market as a strategic target and growth market for the binderholz Group. The USA is by far the largest consumer of wood in the world - with a growing demand. The USA will become one of the most important sales markets for binderholz in 2020 with over 450,000 m3 of planed products and sales of around Euro 170 million. The purchase of our own production facility in what is by far the largest world market for solid wood was therefore the next logical step."
The mill in Live Oak has a sawing capacity of over 35 million cubic feet of round timber and a further processing capacity and nearly 20 million cubic feet of sawn timber and planed products.
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