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Canfor subsidiary to buy three Swedish sawmills

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Vida Group, a subsidiary of US sustainable wood products and pellets firm Canfor, is to purchase three sawmills in Sweden.

Vida will buy the sawmills from Bergs Timber for CAD$43 million (€28.2 million) plus working capital. The three facilities, located in Vimmerby, Morlunda and Orrefors, will add approximately 215 million board feet to Vida’s annual capacity. With further investment, Vida anticipates the production capacity of the mills can be increased to 300 million board feet.

Canfor converts sawmill residues into wood pellets to generate energy. Its industrial-grade fuel pellets provide biomass energy to customers in Europe, North America, and Asia. Its pellet facility in Houston, BC, is owned and operated in partnership with Pinnacle Pellets. The company also opened a pellet facility in Chetwynd in 2015 and Fort St John in 2016, working with Pacific Bioenergy.

Once this additional production capacity has been taken into account, Sweden represents 22% of Canfor’s globally diversified operating platforms, plus 43% in British Columbia, 31% in the southern US and 4% in Alberta.

Don Kayne, president and CEO of Canfor, said: “We are excited that Vida’s strong performance and balance sheet has enabled them to grow their operating footprint in Sweden.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Following downtime related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vida is operating at full capacity and Canfor continues to employ variable operating schedules in North America, with sawmills in the US operating at almost full capacity and Canadian sawmills operating at approximately 90%.