(PRESS RELEASE) MONTREAL, March 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Domtar Corporation (NYSE/TSX: UFS) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its forest products business to EACOM Timber Corporation (TSX-V: ETR; "EACOM") for CDN$80 million plus elements of working capital estimated at CDN$30 to CDN$40 million. Domtar will receive 19% of the proceeds in shares of EACOM. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the second quarter of 2010, subject to material consents and customary closing conditions.
"Our forest products employees have demonstrated tremendous resilience throughout the years. Their sustained efforts to reduce costs and pursue the continuous improvement of operations have positioned the business well for the recovery," said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar Corporation.
Mr. Williams added, "All Domtar forest products employees, and its management team currently led by Jean-François Mérette, will be transitioning to EACOM. EACOM will establish its headquarters in Montreal, QC and will become one of the largest publicly-traded lumber producers in Eastern Canada. The company will be a focused, well capitalized, standalone operation dedicated to the manufacturing of solid and value-added wood products."
The transaction includes five operating sawmills: Timmins, Nairn Centre and Gogama in Ontario, and Val-d'Or and Matagami in Quebec; as well as two non-operating sawmills: Ear Falls in Ontario and Ste-Marie in Quebec. The sawmills have approximately 3.5 million cubic meters of annual harvesting rights and a production capacity of close to 900 million board feet. Also included in the transaction is the Sullivan remanufacturing facility in Quebec and Domtar's interests in two investments: Anthony-Domtar Inc. and Elk Lake Planing Mill Limited.
"With this acquisition we pursue our vision of becoming a major softwood lumber producer and we look forward to integrating Domtar's leading wood products management team to ensure a smooth transition. We recognize that customers have choices in wood products suppliers, and we will work hard to secure their business, notably through our continued commitment to the FSC-certification," stated Rick Doman, President and Chief Executive Officer of EACOM Timber Corporation.