Mayr-Melnhof Holz intends to submit a “stalking horse bid” for Klausner Lumber Two, Enfield / North Carolina. This amounts to US $ 30 million (€ 25.5 million).
According to Mayr-Melnhof Holz CEO Richard Stralz, the “Stalking Horse Bid” hearing will take place on November 18 at the bankruptcy court. It still has to be accepted by the competent judge. If everything goes according to the plan, the auction will take place in December.
The bidding process is being carried out on behalf of Klausner Lumber Two by Cypress, an investment banking company from New York. There are more than six interested parties according to documents from the bankruptcy court in Delaware. These are said to be companies that “have both a strong interest in Klausner Lumber Two and the financial resources to complete a transaction and thus maximize the value of the debtor’s assets”.
The names of the prospective buyers are not known. However, it can be assumed that Binderholz and Mercer will bid – just like in August at Klausner Lumber One in Florida. At least one other Austrian wood industry is said to be very interested. It appears to be at least three North American competitors – which is quite a surprise.
At the auction of Klausner Lumber One on August 21, Mercer entered the process as a “stalking horse bidder”. As with Klausner Lumber Two, the initial offer was US $ 30 million. In the end, Binderholz was awarded the contract for 61 million US dollars. Mayr-Melnhof Holz also offered US $ 59 million.
Klausner Lumber Two was started in 2014 with the € 75 million investment from EB-5 investors. The latter operates as Carolina Sawmills, LP . This financing structure seems to make the second bidding process much more complicated. The EB-5 investors are said to be essentially Chinese “green card” aspirants who have invested at least US $ 500,000 in Klausner’s second US sawmill. The “Green Card” is a permanent work and residence permit in the USA.
Another difference to the sawmill sold in Florida is that although construction began in Enfield in 2014, the plant never got beyond an extended trial run.
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