Jake Kerr Bids Goodbye to Forestry

Natural Resources | BCbusiness
Jake Kerr

With the sale of Lignum Forest Products, Jake Kerr exits the forestry company founded by his father—for the second time

After one false start, Jake Kerr is finally exiting the forestry business. The managing partner of Lignum Forest Products LLP is leaving the company after its sale to Conifex Timber Inc. for US$4 million, announced earlier this week.

The limited partnership was the second iteration of a forestry company founded by Jake’s father, Leslie Kerr, in 1946. Jake took the reigns from his father in 1972, and served as Lignum Ltd. CEO until its sale in 2004. At the time, Lignum had a sawmill in Williams Lake as well as a lumber marketing and distribution arm.

Lignum Ltd. was bought by Riverside Forest Products in 2004 for $100 million. Almost immediately, a bidding war broke out, and before the end of the year Riverside was bought by Tolko Industries for an estimated $370 million.

Following the sale of Riverside to Tolko, the marketing arm of the former Lignum Ltd. was spun out and Kerr bought it for US$4 million, returning to the forestry business and resurrecting the Lignum name by calling the new company Lignum Forest Products LLP. Kerr oversaw the company as managing partner.

Kerr, who is also co-owner of the Vancouver Canadians baseball team, says the recently announced sale marks his final exit from the forestry business. “I figured out last week it was my 45th year, and I think that’s enough,” he told BCBusiness. “I’m gonna stick to baseball.”