Shelton plywood company’s assets sold to Oregon business

In what could be another economic blow to Shelton and Mason County, a Springfield, Oregon, company has acquired the assets of Shelton-based Olympic Panel Products LLC, the largest plywood manufacturer in North America, according to a news release.

The deal was announced March 23.

Swanson Group Manufacturing LLC of Springfield plans to move Olympic Panel’s assets in 2016 to a facility that will be built in Springfield. Until then, Olympic Panel will continue to operate in Shelton, according to the news release.

What will happen to the employees? That was not immediately clear, but according to the Olympic Panel website, the company employs more than 200 people.

Olympic Panel President Jon Pierce could not be reached for comment, while City of Shelton Administrator Dave O’Leary declined to comment, saying he had only secondhand information about the sale.

Lynn Longan, executive director of the Mason County Economic Development Council, said in a voice mail that she is just starting to run some economic impact analysis and plans to put together a response team.

“With our lease expiring next year, we needed to make a strategic, long-term decision and concluded that this transaction is the right step at this time,” said Kurt Liebich, chief executive of New Wood Resources, in a statement.

New Wood Resources LLC, a portfolio company of a Connecticut-based private investment group called Atlas Holdings LLC, owns Olympic Panel.

“We have long been impressed with the quality and depth of Olympic’s overlay product line and believe that this acquisition fits perfectly with our goal to become the leading producer of overlay panels in North America,” said Steve Swanson, president and chief executive of Swanson Group, in a statement.

In September, Tacoma-based Simpson Lumber Co., a major employer in Shelton, announced that it was exploring a possible sale of the business. Simpson Lumber employs about 230 people in Shelton, down from 287 earlier in the year.