Western Forest Products Receives Softwood Lumber Duty Refund
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada, 24 November 2006 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) today announced that it has received USD 109.6 million with respect to the refund of softwood lumber countervail and anti-dumping duty deposits made to U.S. Customs since May 2002. The refund represents substantially all of the company's entitlement under the new Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement. The company received the funds from Export Development Canada using the mechanism established under the Softwood Lumber Agreement.
Reynold Hert, president and CEO commented, "The receipt of these funds permits us to strengthen our balance sheet and reduce our debt service cost by paying down USD 88.0 million of our long-term debt. We will retain the balance of USD 21.6 million for working capital purposes as permitted under our debt agreement while we review options that may enable us to pay down further debt while maintaining liquidity."
Western Forest Products
Western is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer with an Annual Allowable Cut of approximately 7.7 million cubic meters (before temporary AAC reductions) of timber and lumber capacity in excess of 1.5 billion board feet from nine sawmills and five remanufacturing plants. Principal activities conducted by the company and its subsidiaries include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value-added remanufacturing. Substantially all of Western's logging is conducted on government owned timberlands in British Columbia. All of Western's operations, employees and corporate facilities are located in the coastal region of British Columbia; its products are sold in over 20 countries worldwide.
Source: Western Forest Products Inc.