Mercer Purchases Katerra CLT Facility

Mercer International Inc., a global forest products company based in Vancouver, BC, reported it received approval from the applicable Bankruptcy Court for the purchase by its subsidiary, Blue Varsity, of the cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing facility in Spokane, Wash. formerly owned by Katerra for $50 million through a bidding process.

Katerra, a mass timber and modular turnkey construction business founded in 2015, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early June. The $150 million CLT plant, which was commissioned in May 2019, was subsequently shut down.

The facility is located on 54 acres and is equipped with extensive automation technologies including one of the largest CLT presses in the world. The plant has capacity of approximately 13MMSF of 5-ply panels annually or 140,000 m3 of annual production.

David Gandossi, CEO of Mercer, states, “We are very pleased with our impending acquisition of the facility. It represents an attractive entry point for us into the CLT business with a near new state-of-the-art facility. It fits well with our strategy to expand in the solid wood products space and aligns with a core value to provide sustainable and carbon reducing alternatives for a warming planet.”

Mercer International has operations in Germany and Canada and reports a consolidated annual production capacity of 2.2 million tonnes of pulp and 550MMBF of lumber.

Another new facility formerly owned by Katerra, a component manufacturing plant in Tracy, Calif., was acquired through a bidding process by Philadelphia-based Volumetric Building Companies (VAC). The company defines itself as a “volumetric modular business that simplifies complex issues by integrating architecture, logistics, manufacturing, and construction into a single package to produce multifamily housing solutions in less time at a greater return.”

Katerra went through $3 billion in equity investments since its founding. In the bankruptcy filing Katerra estimated liabilities of $1 billion to $10 billion

Katerra wasn’t shy about wanting to shake up—and speed up—the conventional construction industry. In addition to building manufacturing plants, it bought everything from architectural firms, to construction firms to dirt contractors. But many of the projects it entered into appeared to experience the same hiccups and cost overruns that conventional on-site construction projects sometimes encounter, and perhaps with less quality, as Katerra tacked on substantial costs related to re-work issues.

Katerra experienced nearly $2.8 billion in financial losses in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Both Mercer and VAC were stalking-horse bidders whose original bids prevailed for their respective acquisitions.

RELATED ARTICLES

KATERRA’S VISION WAS LOST IN BIG MONEY

SIX YEARS AFTER STARTUP KATERRA DIGS TOO DEEP OF A HOLE

PANEL WORLD MARCH 2021

KATERRA OPENS STATE-OF-THE-ART MASS TIMBER FACTORY

 

Latest News

Oregon Truckers File Suit Against State

Rob Freres, president of Oregon-based Freres Engineered Wood, a manufacturer of lumber, veneer, plywood and mass timber, has thrown in his support for a lawsuit filed by the Oregon Trucking Assn. and three Oregon-based trucking companies against the state of Oregon for overcharging truckers under the weight-mile tax.

Hasslacher Enters North America

Austria-based Hasslacher group is acquiring a stake in Element5, a mass timber producer specializing in the design, manufacture and assembly of modern engineered timber buildings. Based near Toronto, Can., Element5 employs more than 100 and produces cross-laminated timber and glued laminated timber for the North American market.

Endowment Welcomes New Board Members

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities announces that Fritz Mason, Paul Hossain and Anna Torma were elected as new directors at the organization’s fall board meeting. “Drawing upon diverse backgrounds, they each bring a distinctive perspective and unique vision. We look forward to collaborating with them to further the mission of the Endowment,” comments Pete Madden, President and CEO of the Endowment.

FPIC At Louisiana Tech Receives Donation

Martin Sustainable Resources LLC of Alexandria, La. has donated $1 million to Louisiana Tech as a leadership gift toward construction of the University’s new Forest Products Innovation Center (FPIC), with the assurance of another $1 million to be presented by this June. The Center will be on South Campus and provide space for a transdisciplinary approach to solving the challenges…

Find Us On Social

Newsletter

The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

Subscribe/Renew

Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

Advertise

Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!