West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. has entered into an agreement to acquire Spray Lake Sawmills (SLS), subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

The transaction is anticipated to close later this year following the completion of Canadian regulatory reviews and the satisfaction of customary conditions. 

West Fraser officials say the $140 million acquisition will enable the company to grow its footprint in southern Alberta and expand its Canadian treated wood business while providing access to a high-quality timber supply.

"We are excited to welcome Spray Lake Sawmills to the West Fraser family," states Ray Ferris, president and CEO of West Fraser, in a new release. "Spray Lake Sawmills has an experienced, dedicated group of employees who we will look to further the legacy of this proud mill. With its solid safety performance, and focus on sustainability and community, the mill is an ideal fit for West Fraser."

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Spray Lake Sawmills produces treated wood products, dimensional lumber and a variety of innovative wood residuals and byproducts. It has an annual lumber capacity of 155 million board feet and holds two Forest Management Agreements granted by the Government of Alberta with a total Annual Allowable Cut of approximately 500,000 m3.

The company has been a major employer and generous supporter of the Cochrane area since establishing the sawmill here in 1969. 

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It was founded in 1943 as the “Mjolsness Brothers” in Sundre, AB by Chester Mjolsness. His brother Lloyd partnered with him in 1946. The company changed its name to Spray Lake Sawmills in 1954 when it began operating in the Spray Lake area south of Canmore.

In 1980, the second generation of the Mjolsness family purchased the company, and Barry Mjolsness became the new president and CEO.

In 2010, Barry Mjolsness became only the second person to receive the Order of Cochrane for his work in supporting the community.

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. 

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