Private equity firm buys Weyerhaeuser’s hardwood division

Weyerhaeuser has entered into an agreement with American Industrial Partners (AIP), a private equity firm, to sell its worldwide hardwoods and industrial products business unit, for an undisclosed price. The future business will operate as Northwest Hardwoods, Inc., headquartered in Tacoma, Wash., with operations in the United States, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. 

The transaction is expected to close in August of this year.

The hardwoods and industrials products division employs approximately 1,000 workers and manufactures 15 species of hardwood lumber, including alder, oak, maple, cherry, walnut, ash and hickory. It owns and operates a network of seven primary sawmills, four concentration yards, four remanufacturing plants and one merchandizing log yard, all in the United States.

Revenues for the hardwood lumber products alone, according to Weyerhaeuser’s 2010 annual report, were $223 million, an 8.2% increase over sales of $206 million in 2009.

David Weyerhaeuser, VP sales and marketing of Northwest Hardwoods, noted, "Our customers have been extremely loyal to us over many decades, and we very much appreciate that. As a stand-alone company we expect to offer our customers flexibility, fast market response times, continuity of supply and an entrepreneurial 'can do' attitude.” 

A spokesman for AIP, John Stanwood, said in a prepared statement: “[North Hardwoods] revenues are related to housing starts and general repair and remodeling in the housing sector. As these depressed markets improve in the years ahead, the company is well positioned to meet the demand with its excellent hardwood timber supply relationships and extensive, modern and low-cost manufacturing footprint."

Founded in 1989, American Industrial Partners is a leading middle-market private equity firm, which makes control investments in North American-based industrial businesses. AIP invests when it can significantly impact business value through the implementation of an operating agenda developed in collaboration with its partners, advisory board and the company's management team. Its current portfolio includes Allied Specialty Vehicles, Brooks Instruments, Ichor Systems, Mark Andy and Micro-Poise.