Restoration Forest Products Group Receives $95 Million in Additional Financing to Bolster Wildfire Prevention Efforts
Construction of Bellemont Sawmill Expected to Be Completed in 2Q 2024
Implements Financial Restructuring Plan to Strengthen Balance Sheet
Employment and Operations to Continue Without Interruption
Tony Flagor Appointed CEO
BELLEMONT, Ariz., January 29, 2024 – Restoration Forest Products Group, LLC (together with its subsidiaries, “RFOR” or the “Company”), the leading sustainable forest products business in the Southwest United States, today announced that it has received $95 million in additional financing from funds managed by Invesco Senior Secured Management, Inc. (“Invesco”) that will help advance its mission to aid in the restoration of 2.4 million acres of Arizona’s forests and to reduce catastrophic wildfire risk for the region. In connection with the additional financing, RFOR plans to complete a financial restructuring plan that will strengthen its balance sheet and substantially reduce the Company’s debt. The Company also announced that it has appointed Anthony J. “Tony” Flagor, a seasoned sawmill operator, as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 26, 2024.
RFOR continues to partner with the U.S. Forest Service and the Four Forest Restoration Initiative in leading the largest public-private forest restoration initiative in the United States by investing in a combination of mechanical thinning capabilities and a large-scale manufacturing facility focused on processing smaller-diameter timber into high quality lumber and biomass residuals. Construction of the facility in Bellemont, Arizona is proceeding on schedule and is expected to be fully completed in the second quarter of 2024, with significant growth in production volume expected over this same timeframe. The Company expects its workforce to increase upon completion of construction, reaching a total of approximately 225 direct and indirect employees. With a world-class facility and expanded talent and capacity to drive its wood products manufacturing operations, RFOR is strongly positioned to significantly expand its forest restoration initiatives while driving substantial value for critical regional stakeholders and investors.
To implement the financial restructuring plan, the Company has initiated a consensual prepackaged court-supervised process under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which it expects to complete as expeditiously as possible. Upon completion, Invesco will become the new majority owner of RFOR in partnership with the existing equity sponsor, Lateral Investment Management.
The Company expects to continue operating as usual throughout the court-supervised process, including paying employee wages and benefits, and meeting its obligations to its suppliers and vendors in the ordinary course. The additional financing will enable the Company to advance its strategic objectives while continuing to fund its ongoing capital needs until the Bellemont operations achieve economic levels of production in mid-2024. With increased financial flexibility and a strengthened operational foundation, RFOR will be better positioned to fulfill its mission of restoring the health of the region’s forests, preventing wildfires and safely producing world-class lumber and value-added wood products.
As the Company moves through the process on an expedited basis, it remains committed to continue generating significant economic value in the Northern Arizona region, revitalizing local communities, and delivering for all its stakeholders over the long-term.
The Company’s new CEO, Tony Flagor, succeeds Alan Sherrington, who was previously serving as Interim CEO. Flagor will be based at RFOR’s headquarters in Bellemont, Arizona, and will work closely with Sherrington, who is returning to his role as an RFOR advisor, to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.
Flagor has 25 years of experience in sawmill operations, including plant and production management positions at Boise Cascade, Interfor, Roseburg Forest Products, Swanson Group and Potlatch. Most recently, he served as Region Manager for the Inland Region at Boise Cascade, where he was responsible for operations across five mills in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, overseeing over 700 team members. Throughout his 25 years in the wood products industry, he has successfully navigated the challenges and intricacies of the industry and gained a deep understanding of the Pine Lumber market. Flagor also served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years.
Court filings and other information related to the proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Kroll, at https://cases.ra.kroll.com/RFOR; by calling Kroll representatives toll-free at (844) 915-4823 within the U.S. and Canada, or (646) 651-1159 for calls originating internationally; or by emailing Kroll at RFORInfo@ra.kroll.com.
Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP is serving as legal counsel, Intrepid Investment Bankers is serving as financial advisor, and Riveron Management Services is serving as Chief Restructuring Officer to Restoration Forest Products.
About Restoration Forest Products Group, LLC
Restoration Forest Products Group, LLC is a sustainable forest products company restoring overgrown forests to a healthy, more natural state with the mission of reducing the incidence of catastrophic wildfires through innovative and practical land management tactics. By transforming excessive fuel load into a variety of high-quality wood products, RFOR is revitalizing and fortifying our forests.
With a management team that has decades of experience in forest restoration, RFOR is trusted by private firms and federal agencies alike–the company supports a vast network of suppliers, customers and partners as it redevelops the forest products industry. Visit RFOR.com for more information. Follow RFOR on Facebook, LinkedIn and X.
Michael Freitag / Meaghan Repko / Eduardo Rovira
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
more details can be found at the following website: https://cases.ra.kroll.com/RFOR/