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$759M merger for Norbord, Ainsworth Lumber

Written by Alyssa Dalton

Dec. 8, 2014 – Two Canadian wood product companies, Norbord and Ainsworth Lumber, announced today they will combine their businesses through a $759-million deal to create a global producer of oriented strand board, a type of wood panel used in residential and industrial construction.

The companies estimate the combination will result in $45 million in annual synergies, primarily from technology transfers in their mills, improved sales and logistics and cost reductions over 18 to 24 months. It will have the capacity to produce about 7.7 billion square feet of OSB panels, the largest in the global industry, they said.

Brookfield Asset Management is a majority shareholder of each company and will own about 53 per cent of the combined company’s outstanding equity.

Norbord president and chief executive officer, Peter Wijnbergen, will retain the top management position, while Ainsworth CEO Jim Lake will remain as an advisor for six months.

Vancouver, Ont.-based Ainsworth has four Canadian mills, one in Ontario and the others in Western Canada, while Toronto, Ont.-based Norbord operates one mill in Quebec.