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TACOMA, WA-Louisiana-Pacific Corp. has reached an agreement to sell its sawmill here to Pony Lumber. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Terms were not disclosed.

For LP, the sale continues an 18-month effort to reduce debt by shedding its least profitable assets, including its lumber business. The local mill represents one of four mills the soon-to-be Nashville, TN-based company still owns.

For Pony Lumber, a partnership between Portland, OR-based investment bank Veber Partners and lumber industry veteran Walter Wirfs, the acquisition is the start of a new business that will utilize the mill’s existing 125 employees. Pony plans to capitalize on the sawmill’s capability to cut 5- to 7-inch (diameter) hemlock logs in a market full of mills that typically process much thicker Douglas fir logs.

In September, LP announced it is relocating its corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville. The transition associated with the relocation is expected to occur over the next 12 to 24 months, and will involve the consolidation of most of LP’s management and leadership positions from several offices to its new headquarters.

On Friday, LP reported a third quarter profit of $124.5 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, on sales of $674.8 million. In the third quarter of 2002, the company posted a profit of $3.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, on sales of $415.3 million. Through the first nine months of 2003, LP’s profit is $108.8 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, on sales of $1.6 billion. Through the first nine months of 2002, LP posted a net loss of $19.4 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, on sales of $1.2 billion.

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