Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Norbord`s largest shareholder with a 43 per cent share, agreed to support the agreement. We meet labour market standards for pre-announcement requirements in the legal systems in which we operate, including labour standards and collective agreements. . TORONTO – A $4 billion all-stock agreement to acquire Norbord Inc. will transform West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. into a “globally diversified wood products company,” CEO Ray Ferris said Thursday. Norbord, the world`s largest manufacturer of continuous-oriented disc cases, will expand West Fraser`s product line, give it access to new markets in Europe and eastern Canada, and achieve cost savings of about $80 million a year through synergies in two years, he said. A shortage of wood fibres in British Columbia due to forest fires and a mountain beetle infestation have prevented logging companies from significantly increasing production to take advantage of it. 2019 was a particularly difficult year in British Columbia.
Wood shortages caused by the devastating effects of Pine Beetle Mountain have led to permanent reductions in wood production across the industry. In the final quarter of 2018 and into 2019, West Fraser announced several temporary and permanent production reductions affecting some 300 employees. These include the announcement of the permanent closure of the Chasm wood plant in B.C. in June 2019, which ceased operations in September of the year. When operational changes need to take place, we work hard to retain qualified staff and look for options to support the transition. These include the study of work-sharing programs, cooperation with community organizations that provide placement, training, retraining, family support and local support services. Norbord CEO Peter Wijnbergen, who is expected to become president of Engineered Wood with the combined company, said the deal would create a one-stop shop for construction customers and provide better access to capital for the company`s growth. Meanwhile, shares of Vancouver-based West Fraser fell five per cent to $US3.72 in Toronto to $69.39 $US per share. We respect the same fundamental convictions that were essential to our company when it was founded in 1955: count all your pennies, treat people fairly, laugh hard and work harder than anyone else in the company to be the best. Employees affected by the ongoing production reductions were given the opportunity to stay with West Fraser. Local mill transfer coordinators worked to provide the employees concerned with the opportunity to stay at other B.C plant sites in the company.