Northwest Hardwoods Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Northwest Hardwoods, Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeking to eliminate $270 million in debt and financially restructure the company, which has 30 facilities across North America.

Northwest Hardwoods has a sawmill location at 3000 Galvin Road in Centralia.

“Today marks an important milestone in our process to significantly reduce our debt so we can re-invest in long-term growth,” said CEO Nathan Jeppson, in a news release in November. Throughout this process, we will continue to serve our customers and deliver on our mission of delivering the best hardwoods products in the industry. Given the strong level of support from our lenders and creditors, we expect to complete this process over the next 60 days.”

In addition to reducing company debt by $270 million, Jeppson said in a letter to company shareholders that the process would reduce debt service and increase cash flow for reinvestment, and would maintain employee pay and benefits. 

“Importantly we reiterate that all operations will continue as usual, with our employees, suppliers, vendors and other creditors to be paid in full in the ordinary course of business,” Jeppson wrote to shareholders. “We look forward to emerging on the other side of this process with the right financial structure, enabling us to become an even stronger business.”

Northwest Hardwoods was founded in 1967 in Portland and merged with Industrial Timber and Lumber Company in 2015. According to the company, it serves more than 2,000 customers in 60 countries and has an estimated annual hardwood lumber capacity of 320 million board feet.

In Washington, it has a headquarters facility in Tacoma and mills in Centralia and Longview.

The company filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and filed a prepared plan of reorganization in November.

Copies of that plan are available to the public at https://cases.primeclerk.com/nwh or by contacting Brenda Walters, paralegal, at 302-573-7791, or by email at nwhinfo@primeclerk.com.

On Dec. 16, the debtors — Northwest Hardwoods and its affiliates — will file a supplement to the plan, which will include the members of its new board, new organizational documents, the new shareholders agreement and other information, and will be available at the link above.

Any responses or objections to the reorganization plan or the company’s disclosure statement must be filed by 5 p.m. Dec. 23. The case is scheduled to be heard in front of a judge on Jan. 6.

According to a news release from the company, a group representing 90 percent of the company’s secured notes, or debt, has expressed support of the plan. 

“We believe in the long-term growth of Northwest Hardwoods, its incredible employees and the strength of its management team. This action will allow the company to meaningfully reduce its overall debt, without any interruption to current operations. We look forward to a successful process and future for Northwest Hardwoods,” the statement from the ad hoc group reads. 

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