Portland, Ore. -- Columbia Forest Products, parent company of Columbia Flooring, announced that it plans to purchase the Nipigon Multiply hardwood plywood underlayment operation in Ontario, Canada from Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd. Terms were not disclosed. Weyerhaeuser's Building Materials organization will maintain a role as an agent for Columbia in selling and distributing Multiply to North American customers.

Multiply is a branded three-ply aspen 1/4-inch plywood used as an underlayment for vinyl, ceramic and laminate flooring. It is considered by many to be a premium name in the underlayment business and holds the second-largest share of the market after lauan.

"Multiply is a great brand in the underlayment industry and the operation is a good fit for our Canadian organization," said Ed Woods, Columbia executive vice president of Sales and Marketing said. "We're anxious to add Multiply underlayment to our flooring product lines."

Columbia plans to retain current staffing levels and current production after the acquisition is complete. "We believe the sale of the Nipigon facility to Columbia is a win-win situation for all parties, including the employees and the community," added Bill Blankenship, Weyerhaeuser vice president of Engineered Panels.

The Nipigon Multiply plant was built in 1956 and was purchased by MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. in 1973. Weyerhaeuser acquired the facility as part of its acquisition of MacMillan Bloedel in 1999. Nipigon is situated 70 miles east of Thunder Bay on the north side of Lake Superior.