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J.D. Irving could be split up into independent businesses


November 27, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

St. John, NB — J.D. Irving Ltd., the $6 billion family conglomerate with operations in energy, forestry, paper pro…

St. John, NB — J.D. Irving Ltd., the $6 billion family conglomerate with operations in energy, forestry, paper products and media, may be facing a split, according to a recent report by the Globe and Mail. At issue is succession and the strategic planning, sources close to the family note.

The company was founded in New Brunswick 125 years ago by J.D. Irving, and is now run by his three grandsons: J.K., who operates the forestry arm of the business, Arthur, managing the energy business, and Jack. The brothers are now in their seventies, and were recently inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Now five members of the next generation also work in the company.

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“We’re just in the process,” The Globe and Mail quotes J. K. Irving as saying. “I wouldnt say it’s making things more separate, it’s evolving.” An international team of lawyers and financial specialists were reportedly working on the restructuring, which would involve several jurisdictions, tax rulings and other court approvals under Canadian, U.S. and Bermuda law.

The company’s energy business has been boosted by soaring oil prices, but its forestry division has suffered under the strong Canadian dollar and decreasing lumber demand. “The dollar is a disaster in the forestry business,” J.K. Irving told the Globe and Mail. He noted that the company plans to stay flexible and keep investing in its mills.


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