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Camden Timbers to restart Victory Lumber sawmill in Arkansas


May 26, 2022
By Astara Captial Partners

Astara Capital Partners, LLC announced that it has formed Camden Timbers, LLC to acquire and restart the assets of Victory Lumber, LLC, a Southern Yellow Pine sawmill located in Camden, Ark. Camden Timbers is Astara’s second sawmill investment in the ACP Lumber Holdings, LLC platform following its acquisition of Cross City Lumber, LLC (CCL) in April 2021.

Astara began working on the opportunity in 2020 after it was contacted about the mill by a group of sawmill executives with whom Michael Ranson, Astara’s managing partner, had worked in the past. This team of executives, led by Brett Bray, was responsible for restarting Caddo River Forest Products, another mill in Arkansas where Mr. Ranson and Bob McKagen, CEO of ACP Lumber, served as board members.

Mr. Bray, who has decades of experience in the sawmill industry, commented, “I am excited to once again partner with Michael as well as the teams at Astara and ACP Lumber. We have a terrific opportunity to greatly improve the mill’s infrastructure and bring jobs back to Ouachita County and the surrounding area. Our team learned a lot from the Caddo River restart and is proud of the economic contribution that restarting Caddo has made to its local community. We are eager to get to work and make Camden Timbers a success.”

“The Camden Timbers team has developed a comprehensive plan to invest significant capital in the mill,” said Mr. McKagen, “and ACP Lumber is excited to support the project. Brett and his team’s plan will create a preeminent small-log timbers mill that is highly synergistic to CCL and complements our focus on specialty and dimensional lumber.”

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Mr. Ranson added, “I’m thrilled to be working again with the same talented executives that made Caddo River a success. Astara is fortunate that both of our sawmill investments are led by teams with whom we have worked in the past. In addition, we remain committed to investing in an industry that fosters sustainability. The pine forests in the southern U.S. are a massive, renewable resource. The carbon-capture benefits of building with lumber are underappreciated and stand in contrast to the carbon emissions generated by alternative construction materials.”