Brookfield exits five-year Ainsworth Lumber turnaround in $1.1bn sale


Ainsworth woodBrookfield Asset Management has backed the sale of portfolio company Ainsworth Lumber to Louisiana-Pacific Corp in a deal valued at about $1.1bn.

Brookfield, which owns a 54 per cent stake in the wood panel maker, voted in favour of the C$3.76 per share sale, which represented a 30 per cent premium relative to the last closing price.

The firm bought into the business through a corporate restructuring in 2008, and almost doubled its 29 per cent stake in 2010 by picking up another 24.5 per cent of the business.

Ainsworth CEO Jim Lake said, “This transaction provides immediate value and liquidity to our shareholders as well as the opportunity to participate in LP’s continued growth as a global leader in strand-based products and technologies.

“For our people, this will bring even greater financial strength to the business and the opportunity to become an important part of a well-resourced, innovative company with an excellent operational track record and an uncompromising commitment to safety.

“This is a positive step forward for Ainsworth, our people, our customers and the communities in which we operate.”

Last month it emerged Canada-headquartered Brookfield had gathered $1bn for its latest timberlands fund, topping its initial target by $250m.

Brookfield Timberlands Fund V will target timberlands, primarily in the US, Brazil and Australia and may also pursue opportunities in Canada, Chile, Uruguay and New Zealand, the firm said in a statement.

LPs backing the fund include sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension plans and insurers, which provided $750m in addition to a $250m investment from Brookfield.

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