Canfor expands overseas with Sweden sawmill acquisition

Maria Church
November 15, 2018
By
Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne speaks at the 2018 COFI Convention in Prince George, B.C., in April.
Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne speaks at the 2018 COFI Convention in Prince George, B.C., in April.
Nov. 15, 2018 - B.C.-based Canfor Corporation is heading to Europe. The company has agreed to purchase a 70 per cent stake in Sweden's largest privately owned sawmill company, VIDA Group. 

Canfor announced the $580-million purchase agreement today, which includes $125 million of normalized working capital. VIDA's current owners will retain a 30 per cent interest, as well as day-to-day management of the 18 production facilities and 1,050 employees.

“With the acquisition of VIDA, we are excited to become a truly international manufacturer and provider of wood product solutions for our global customers,” Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne said in a news release. “This transformational growth will allow Canfor to further diversify and secure a worldwide fibre supply to meet the growing demand of our customers for high-quality wood products.”

VIDA operates nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual capacity of 1.1 billion board feet of spruce and pine. Nine other value-added facilities include premium packaging, modular housing, industrial products and energy.

“VIDA, a well-known brand in its current markets, is aligned with our corporate strategy of producing high-value products, providing an exceptional customer service experience and maintaining a low cost structure,” Kayne said. “We are excited that Santhe Dahl, group CEO and Måns Johansson, deputy CEO, of VIDA will continue to lead the company operations in Sweden. We welcome VIDA’s skilled management team, talented employees and modern operations to our company.”

The deal is expected to close early next year.

This is Canfor's second acquisition announcement in less than a week. On Nov. 9, the company revealed plans to purchase Elliot Sawmilling Co. in South Carolina. With both Elliot and VIDA on board, Canfor’s annual production capacity will be approximately 7.2 billion board feet.

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