Clearwater Paper announces sawmill sale to Idaho Forest Group

Clearwater Paper Corp. has entered into an agreement to sell its Lewiston, Idaho, sawmill to Idaho Forest Group of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

The transaction includes the sale of Clearwater Paper's sawmill, planer mill, dry kilns and related assets, along with log and finished goods inventories and timber under contract, in the aggregate amount of about $30 million. 

The companies have entered into a long-term residual fiber supply agreement with the goal of delivering consistent supplies of chips and sawdust to Clearwater Paper's Lewiston pulp mill from Idaho Forest Group Mills. 

"This has been a very careful and thoughtful decision for everyone at the company," said Tom Colgrove, president of pulp and paperboard at Clearwater Paper. "We believe that this is the best possible outcome for the mill and its continued operation in the region, our company and our shareholders.

"We believe the tough times in the lumber industry will continue into the fore-seeable future, and that the mill will be operated by a company whose core focus is lumber," he added. "We believe IFG has the people, resources and the business structure to make the Lewiston sawmill very successful." 

About 250 affected Clearwater Paper employees will receive severance and all provisions subject to the WARN Act, which includes up to 60 days' worth of pay and benefits. 

Idaho Forest Group will officially take possession in the fourth quarter of 2011.