Bradford, PA – A joint venture between the Rossi Group and The Lyme Timber Company LP acquired Danzer Hardwood Lumber’s Bradford, PA sawmill, kilns, and related assets. The deal closed April 15.
The two firms plan to bring the Bradford facility, previously known as Bradford Forest Products, back to full production, securing over 85 existing jobs and creating at least 20 new jobs in the area. The business operated as Bradford Forest, Inc. after Danzer acquired it in 1988, and rebranded under the Danzer name in 2018.
The Rossi Group, an experienced producer of Appalachian hardwood lumber, will be responsible for the management of the sawmill and kiln operation. Lyme and the Rossi Group also own the Emporium Hardwoods sawmill (above) in Emporium, PA. The two mills are expected to produce over 60 million feet of hardwood lumber per year.
“Pennsylvania has long been a focus for our business because of its globally recognized hardwood resources,” says Ted Rossi, president and CEO of the Rossi Group. “Our investment in the Bradford sawmill complements our existing sawmill capacity and allows us to achieve desired scale, market diversification, and efficiency.”
Danzer will stay in the North American lumber business with its lumber drying operations in Shade Gap, PA, where it buys green lumber and then homogenously dries it. The Shade Gap facility has 1.4 million board feet of kilns and dries most of the main North American species. The facility specializes in white oak and walnut from 4/4 to 12/4 with the walnut production supported by 2 on-site steamers. Planning and ripping services are also available.
“The divesture of the Bradford mill was a difficult decision for Danzer,” says Greg Lottes, Vice Chairman of Danzer North America and President of Danzer Lumber North America. “With our future focus on specialty hardwood products and surfaces, we sought out and found an excellent buyer and operator for the Bradford sawmill complex.”
After buying Bradford, Danzer invested in cutting-edge technology, like a curve saw that increases the raw material yield by cutting flat boards out of swept logs.
“We are proud to take on Danzer’s legacy of investment and stewardship of the Bradford mill,” says Jim Hourdequin, CEO of Lyme. “It is an excellent facility with an experienced team in a region known for its hardwood resource. The mill’s unique sawing capabilities and distinctive global markets help landowners like us manage lands sustainably in a manner that supports jobs and the local forest economy.”
Lyme says it has purchased approximately 160,000 acres of forestland in the region. Alongside its sawmill joint venture with the Rossi Group, Lyme has invested in several local forest products businesses, including Three Rivers Forest Management and Northern Appalachian Log and Forestry, both in Coudersport, PA. With the Bradford investment, Lyme will directly employ over 220 people in the region.