KATERRA MAKE ‘SHOCK EXIT’ FROM TIMBER MARKET
Katerra Inc, the US company set up in 2015 to revolutionise construction with a tech-driven approach to offsite construction and use of cross laminated timber (CLT), has filed for ‘relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.’
Katerra expanded quickly through a series of acquisitions – including Indian giant KEF Infra and innovative tall timber specialist Michael Green Architecture. These are now likely to be offered for sale. Katerra’s 270,000sq ft facility in Spokane Valley, Washington was the largest single-use CLT facility in North America with one of the largest CLT presses in the world with an annual production capacity of 185,000m3.
“The rapid deterioration of the company’s financial position is the result of the macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the construction industry, inability to procure bonding for construction projects following the unexpected insolvency proceedings of Katerra’s former lender, and unsuccessful attempts to secure additional capital and business,” said Chief Transformation Officer Marc Liebman.
As reported by The Financial Times, Katerra was backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The Vision Fund had invested more than $2billion in Katerra, including a cash infusion in December 2020 as part of a recapitalisation. Katerra had also been a client of Greensill, the SoftBank-backed supply chain finance company, which also collapsed earlier this year.