VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 3, 2014) - West Fraser (TSX:WFT) 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 metres of coniferous timber and 21,000 cubic metres 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 neighbouring 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."
With respect to the acquisitions announced by the Company in 2014 to date, additional details will be provided in Management's Discussion and Analysis of West Fraser's first quarter financial results as well as during the Company's regularly scheduled conference call to review those results.
West Fraser is an integrated wood products company producing lumber, wood chips, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp and newsprint. The Company has operations in western Canada and the U.S. South.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements about potential future developments or events, in particular those relating to plans to invest additional capital, the expected timing of completion of the Bibler Brothers Lumber acquisition, the potential enhancement of current operations and the expected strengthening of lumber markets. These statements are presented to provide reasonable guidance to the reader. Their accuracy and the actual outcomes or results of such developments or events will depend on, and are subject to, a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties and other factors that could affect the ability of West Fraser to achieve such outcomes or results or execute its business plans, including those matters described in West Fraser's 2013 Annual Management's Discussion and Analysis under "Risks and Uncertainties" and may differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and West Fraser undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by applicable securities laws.
West Fraser shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: "WFT".