Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 14 December 2009 – Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (TSX: ANS and ANS.WT) announced today that it has completed the divestiture of the company’s portfolio of noncore assets. Collectively, the asset sales support the company’s strategic focus on optimizing its portfolio and allocating resources to its best performing oriented strand board assets.
On December 11, 2009, the company completed the sale of its specialty plywood business unit. This includes the Savona specialty plywood mill and the Lillooet veneer mill, both in southwestern British Columbia. On 03 November 2009, the company finalized an agreement to sell its facilities in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA. This transaction is expected to close on 15 December 2009. On 29 June 2009, Ainsworth closed the sale of its property in Bemidji, Minnesota, and on 03 December 2009, the company closed the sale of its property in Cook, Minnesota.
“In early 2009, we established a clear strategy of divesting non-core assets and dedicating our resources to our most profitable operations. With this announcement, I am pleased to report that ths process is substantially complete. At the same time, it is important that I also acknowledge the many years of service and collective hard work and dedication of the employees that served this company at each of these facilities,” said Rick Huff, Ainsworth president and CEO.
“As we reported at the end of the third quarter, our three active oriented strand board mills in Canada ran at capacity and did not take any demand related downtime. Going forward, we remain focused on keeping our costs in line with the realities of the current environment while operating safely and efficiently. With the progress we have made to improve our business, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of an eventual recovery in North American demand for engineered wood products,” Huff added.
Operations at the three Minnesota properties were permanently discontinued in January 2009. Financial terms of all of the company’s noncore asset sales were not disclosed. The proceeds of the sales are not expected to have a material effect on the financial results of the company.