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Varney Family Investment in Forestry Industry Extends Beyond Insurance

For Immediate Release, February 9, 2015 - Varney Family today announced that it has made an investment in Matériaux Blanchet Inc., one of Québec Canada's largest independent sawmill operators. Varney Companies is comprised of insurance businesses, car dealerships, commercial real estate and a wireless internet service provider.

"It is exciting for us to be given the opportunity to be a part of Matériaux Blanchet, a premier company that shares our passion for the forestry industry," said Tim Varney, Varney Agency's President & CEO. "This acquisition gives Varney Agency an international opportunity to expand our insurance offerings as well as our forestry insurance business, American Loggers Insurance Program, north of the border into Canada. We will also be able to use our new coverholder status with Lloyd's of London to provide international Ocean Marine and Cargo Insurance, arising from Materiaux Blanchet operations."

Jean Carrier, Matériaux Blanchet's newly named President, added, "We're delighted to have the Varney family as a partner of Matériaux Blanchet and provide their expertise for handling all of our insurance needs. We also look forward to helping them expand their insurance products and business into Canada." 

Matériaux Blanchet began operations in 1958. At that time, the plant located at Saint-Pamphile sawed approximately 10 million board feet (fbm) of lumber per year. Since then, three generations of employees dedicated to quality products have built a sterling reputation among clients, competitors and service providers. Producing a full line of spruce-pine-fir products, these slow-growing species yield lumber with excellent dimensional stability and top-of-the-line structural strength, which provide a premium product for construction-related applications. Today, Matériaux Blanchet has 400 employees, carries an annual production capacity of 300 million fbm from Saint-Pamphile and Amos sawmills. International export markets include the U.S., Western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Japan and Taiwan. 

Matériaux Blanchet has long been affiliated with the state of Maine, through its American subsidiary Blanchet Logging and Lumber Co., which owns woodlots located in northern Maine near the Saint-Pamphile sawmill. 80% of the timber for Saint-Pamphile is sourced from Maine forests, harvested and supplied by Maine landowners and logging companies. Given the well established and mutually beneficial relationship between Matériaux Blanchet and Maine logging, this acquisition will continue to put Maine forestry in a positive position for years to come.

About Matériaux Blanchet Inc.

Matériaux Blanchet is one of the largest independent private sawmill operators in Québec. Headquartered in Québec City, the company operates two complexes integrating softwood sawing, drying and planning processes. One complex is located in Saint-Pamphile on the Québec-Maine border, and the other is in Amos, in northwestern Québec. The company mainly produces lumber for construction and industrial applications. Production also includes by-products such as chips, shavings, sawdust and bark, which are used by pulp and paper producers, board fabricators, energy companies, and pellet and bedding producers. For more information, visit materiauxblanchet.ca.

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