WFP announces limited partnership with Huu-ay-aht First Nations
Dec. 17, 2018 – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products Inc. have reached an agreement whereby Huu-ay-aht will acquire a seven per cent interest from Western in a newly formed limited partnership for $7.2 million, subject to closing adjustments.
December 17, 2018 By Western Forest Products
The assets of the limited partnership will consist of certain Western assets in its Port Alberni Forest Operation, including TFL 44 and other associated assets and liabilities. The completion of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, approval by the B.C. Provincial Government and Huu-ay-aht People’s Assembly, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. As part of the agreement, Western may sell Huu-ay-aht an incremental interest in the limited partnership subject to further negotiation.
This announcement is consistent with the goals of the parties’ March 2018 Reconciliation Protocol Agreement. Western will continue to source fibre from the limited partnership assets to support its B.C. manufacturing facilities.
“Today’s announcement is a positive step towards increasing First Nations participation in the forest sector, which will benefit the Nation, local communities, Western, and our employees,” said Don Demens, Western’s president and CEO.
“We are excited with today’s announcement and look forward to continuing to explore opportunities with Western, including aligning our interests in manufacturing and potentially involving other First Nations in a shared vision for forestry over the next several years,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr.
The shared vision of Huu-ay-aht and Western includes a framework for reconciliation and revitalization of the Alberni Valley forest sector. The framework includes opportunities for increased participation of area First Nations through tenure ownership, employment and business opportunities, sustained domestic manufacturing, increased training, effective marketing and value-added product innovation, and strong environmental stewardship.
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