Western Forest Products

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Western Forest Products Inc.
Type Public TSXCFPTSXWEF
Founded Nanaimo, British Columbia
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Products Forest Products
Revenue Increase50.6 million CAN (2012 EBITDA)[1]
Employees

2,004 (2012) [1]

industry = Forest products
Website westernforest.com

Western Forest Products Inc. (TSXWEF) is a Canadian lumber company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

History[edit]

Following its initial acquisition of the assets of Doman in 2004, the Company undertook a series of restructuring activities including the closure of its Silvertree sawmill in 2005, the exit from the pulp business in early 2006 and ceasing operations at the Duke Point log merchandiser, which was used primarily to supply whole log wood chips to the Company’s former Squamish pulp mill. These properties have since been sold or are in the process of being sold (see “Significant Developments Since January 2010” below on the conditional sale of the Squamish site).

Western subsequently expanded its forest operations through two acquisitions. On March 17, 2006, the Company purchased the Englewood Logging Division (“Englewood”), consisting of Tree Farm Licence (“TFL”) 37 on Vancouver Island and certain related assets for $45.0 million plus the value of certain log inventories. On May 1, 2006, Western acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Cascadia from Trilon Bancorp Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BAM, for cash consideration of $202.2 million. Cascadia was a coastal British Columbia integrated lumber producer that harvested timber and produced high-value, high-quality wood products for customers worldwide. Cascadia was, at the time, the largest Crown tenure holder in coastal British Columbia, with an AAC of approximately 3.6 million cubic metres, and one of the largest lumber producers on the British Columbia coast, owning or operating four specialized sawmills with an aggregate annual production capacity of approximately 570 million board feet of lumber, a “custom cut” division and four remanufacturing facilities.

With the closing of the Cascadia and Englewood acquisitions and completion of the restructuring activities, the Company focused on the integration of its ongoing business operations. Western made organizational changes that reduced management staff by approximately 110 positions. The corporate and administration groups were originally consolidated at Duncan on Vancouver Island, the logging operations were centralized in Campbell River, also on Vancouver Island, and the sales organizations were brought together in one office in Vancouver. Integration provided the opportunity for the consolidation of timberlands operations to increase productivity, reduce fixed costs per unit logged and optimize log flows from the timberlands to sawmills, taking advantage of shorter barging and towing distances available with the new timber tenure and mill configuration. Western closed its New Westminster sawmill in February 2007 and sold the property in March 2008.

Since the restructuring activities described above, the Company has focused primarily on operational improvements, thereby reducing costs. The costs of harvesting have been reduced through the rationalization of logging operations. Recovery rates of lumber produced from logs have been increased with the benefit of previous capital investments and refined sawmilling techniques. In addition, systems and processes have been improved, reducing costs across the organization. Further restructuring took place in 2009 and into 2010 to address the continuing weak worldwide lumber markets, resulting in further organizational changes, plant down-time, headcount reductions and the relocation of the Company’s corporate office to Vancouver. In 2011, the Company sold its administrative office building in Duncan, British Columbia, and relocated the functions of that office to Nanaimo, British Columbia. The Company has sold off a number of non-core assets since 2008, with the proceeds bring used to pay down long-term debt. [2]

On April 30, 2014, a former employee opened fire with a shotgun at a Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, British Columbia, killing two employees and wounding two others, one critically. The suspected gunman, 47-year-old Kevin Addison, was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.[2][3]

Operations[edit]

Western is a major integrated softwood forest products company operating in the coastal region of British Columbia. The Company’s long-term business objective is to create superior value for shareholders by building a margin-focused lumber and log business of sufficient size and scale to compete successfully in global softwood lumber markets. To achieve this, our strategy is to own the tenure to harvest high quality Crown-owned coastal timberlands, to operate efficient, low-cost converting facilities and to produce and sell high-value softwood lumber and logs in demand by global markets. We seek to manage our business with a focus on operating cash flow and maximizing the value of our fibre resource through the production cycle, from the planning of our logging operations to the production, marketing and sale of our lumber products.

Western’s business includes the harvesting of timber, reforestation, forest management, the manufacture and sale of lumber and wood chips, and the sale of logs. Western’s lumber products are currently sold in over 25 countries worldwide. Our sawmills process hemlock, Douglas fir and western red cedar, into long-length, wide-width and higher-grade lumber, commodity grades of lumber and residual wood chips that are sold externally and used for pulp production. The value-added lumber remanufacturing plants dry, saw and trim lumber for use in producing higher-value products such as mouldings, frames and paneling.

WFP's business is composed of eight sawmills with an annual lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet, two value-added remanufacturing plants, and timberland operations with approximately 6.2 million cubic metres of annual allowable cut (“AAC”), from high-quality “evergreen” tenures (that are renewable within the tenure term) on Crown-owned land on Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland coast Approximately 0.2 million cubic metres of additional potential harvest is available from our privately owned timberlands and non-replaceable Crown tenures. [3]


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