The Austrian binderholz Group, based in Fügen, purchased all assets of Klausner Lumber One LLC, based in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida, in the auction held on Friday, August 21, 2020. At the auction binderholz was able to prevail over Mercer Inc. and Mayr Melnhof Holz and was awarded the contract at USD 61.0 million. The transaction is expected to close at the beginning of October 2020.
For the binderholz Group, this step is a further milestone in the company’s history. For the first time, binderholz will produce outside Europe. The site in the centre of Florida is located in one of the best growth areas for the “Southern Yellow Pine” species, which is in high demand in the USA. This ensures a high availability of round timber at a price level that has been extremely stable in recent years. In addition, the eastern part of the USA is one of the most densely populated areas in the states, so that the corresponding demand also exists on the sales side.
Reinhard Binder, CEO of binderholz, explains the strategic motives as follows: “We see the American solid wood market as a strategic target and growth market for the binderholz Group. The USA is by far the largest consumer of wood in the world – with a growing demand. Following the founding of Binderholz Timber Inc., Atlanta, USA in 2019 and a consistent and successful market development, the USA will become one of the most important sales markets for binderholz in 2020 with over 450,000 m³ of planed products and sales of around EUR 170 million. The purchase of our own production facility in what is by far the largest world market for solid wood was therefore the next logical step. We also want to further develop our successful business model in the USA.”
The acquired sawmill Klausner Lumber One LLC, located in Live Oak, has a sawing capacity of over 1 million m³ of round timber and a further processing capacity of over 500,000 m³ of sawn timber and planed products. Production at the Florida site is scheduled to resume by the end of 2020 at the latest. As a result of this takeover, almost 7 million solid cubic metres of round timber will be processed in the binderholz Group’s plants in the then 8 sawmills in Austria, Germany, Finland and the USA. Of the approx. 4 million m³ of sawn timber, almost 3 million m³ of solid wood products will then be produced.
Through Binderholz Timber Inc. and its employees, the Binderholz Group already has a very good network and customer contacts in the USA. In recent years, binderholz has been able to complete numerous projects in the USA via Binderholz Bausysteme GmbH. With the acquisition of its own production facility in the USA, binderholz will further strengthen its presence in this market and continuously advance the internationalisation and diversification of the binderholz Group in terms of market and production.
In spite of Corona, the binderholz Group was able to operate production at full capacity at all locations in 2020, while complying with all hygiene and safety standards, and thus not only maintaining but also expanding the workforce.