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Canadian lumber company completes purchase of Simpson mills

Just two and a half months after it first announced its plans to buy four Simpson Lumber Co. sawmills, including one on the Tacoma Tideflats, a Canadian forest products company has completed the purchase.

Vancouver, British Columbia’s Interfor Corporation began operating the four mills in Tacoma, Longview, Meldrim, Georgia; and Georgetown, South Carolina Monday.

The four mills are expected to increase Interfor’s capacity by 30 percent and up the U.S. share of its total production from 57 percent to 67 percent.

Interfor spokeswoman Karen Brandt said the company has appointed a new mill manager from its Adams Lake, British Columbia flagship mill to run the Tacoma mill.

“He has a long history of innovation and operating experience,” she said.

The Tacoma mill has the potential of producing nearly 400 million board feet of lumber a year, but last year produced about 165 million board feet. The Tacoma mill is a relatively young sawmill having been built in 2000. Simpson was doing a $5 million upgrade on the mill when the sale was announced.

“There is considerable upside potential,” said the Interfor spokeswoman. Under Interfor, the mill will employ about 125 workers.

Interfor purchased the four mills from privately held Simpson for $94.7 million plus further payments based on the productivity and profits of the Tacoma mill.

In announcing the completion of the deal Simpson announced three executive changes:

• Dave McEntee has assumed the role of president of Simpson Lumber. McEntee will be responsible for Simpson Door and the Shelton Lumber Operations.



• Betsy Stauffer has assumed the role of president of Simpson Investment Company. Stauffer will be responsible for the consolidated corporate functions while continuing to be the general counsel of Simpson Lumber.



• Allan Trinkwald has assumed the transitional role of vice chair of Simpson. McEntee and Stauffer will report to Trinkwald for a transition period.



Interfor did not buy Simpson’s Shelton sawmill operations or its door plant in McCleary saying those operations didn’t fit its production plan.

Simpson, founded in 1890, in the last year has sold off most of its major operations including its Tacoma Kraft Mill. It sold that mill to RockTenn Co. of Georgia. RockTenn recently announced it intends to merge with MeadWestVaco Corporation.

· Betsy Stauffer has assumed the role of president of Simpson Investment Company. Betsy will be responsible for the consolidated corporate functions while continuing to be the general counsel of Simpson Lumber.

· Allan Trinkwald has assumed the transitional role of vice chair of Simpson. Dave and Betsy will report to Allan for a transition period.

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