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Mount Holly’s Watson Sawmill will be sold to Anthony Timberlands

Posted on August 27, 2018

Anthony Timberlands, Inc., has contracted to purchase the Watson Sawmill Company hardwood sawmill and chip mill facility in Mount Holly.

The purchase price was not disclosed. The mill employs about 70 people

“The Watson mill is a modern, state of the art, facility in all respects,” Steven M. Anthony, president of Anthony Timberlands, Inc., said in a statement on Thursday.

“Its location and product mix fit almost perfectly with our existing hardwood facilities and recent acquisitions we have made in southwest Arkansas, and will complement those operations.”

Donald Watson, president of Watson Sawmill, Inc., said, “After 35 years in the hardwood sawmill business, we are proud to pass on our family operation to the Anthony family, and wish them much continued success.”

“We are hoping for a near seamless transition within 30-45 days,” said Anthony. “We anticipate operations to continue unabated, with some minor changes. Current employees will be given an opportunity to continue their employment with ATI.”

Anthony Timberlands, Inc. owns pine sawmills in Bearden (Ouachita County) and Malvern (Hot Spring County), hardwood sawmills in Beirne (Clark County) and Magnolia, as well as manages a lumber treating plant in Hope (Anthony Wood Treating, Inc.), a hardwood laminating and timber mat manufacturing facility in Sheridan (Anthony Hardwood Composites, Inc.), an oak flooring mill in Magnolia (Anthony Oak Flooring, Inc.) and 150,000 acres of timberland scattered throughout south central Arkansas.

ATI directly employs over 700 people and has annual sales of over $165 million.

According to its website, Watson Lumber has 5 million feet of air-dried storage. Dry lumber storage consists of 1.6 million board feet of lumber, all of which is hand stacked in buggies. Watson Lumber is a completely computerized and fully automated operation.

Products manufactured by Watson Lumber include green, air-dried and kiln dried, rough or surfaced 4/4 and 5/4 red and white oak, hickory, pecan, sap gum, and beech lumber.

Logs are procured within a 100-mile radius of the facility, and the company procures about 85 percent of the logs.