Potlatch Corporation is an American diversified forest products company based in Spokane, Washington.
It manufactures and sells lumber, panels and particleboard and receives revenue from other assets such as mineral rights and the leasing of land as well as the sale of land considered expendable.
The Potlatch Lumber Company was incorporated in 1903. It planned a lumber mill on the Palouse River and began construction in 1905, completed in 1906. The mill operated until 1981. The company town of Potlatch, Idaho was built to serve the mill. Over 200 buildings were designed by architect C. Ferris White for the firm. The town soon became the second biggest town in Latah County, Idaho, and the firm was the biggest taxpayer in the state of Idaho for some years.
The Commercial Historic District (Potlatch, Idaho), which includes the main administrative building of the company, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
In 2002, Potlatch sold its Cloquet, Minnesota, pulp and printing papers facilities and associated assets to Sappi Limited for US$480 million. This sale marked its exit from the coated printing papers business.
In 2006, Potlatch restructured to form a real estate investment trust (REIT). In this restructuring all of the company's manufacturing operations are held by a wholly owned subsidiary, allowing the company to refocus on managing their large land holdings in Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, and Arkansas.
The company owns about 1,600,000 acres (6,500 km) of land in rural Minnesota, Idaho, Wisconsin and Arkansas. The forestry products that it sells are processed at six company-owned facilities.
On December 9, 2008, Clearwater Paper Corporation, previously a subsidiary of Potlatch, was created via a spin-off, with Gordon L. Jones, a vice-president of Potlatch, as the new company's president and CEO.
Shares of Clearwater Paper (NYSE:CLW) stock were distributed to Potlatch share holders at a ratio of 1 share of Clearwater stock for every 3.5 shares of Potlatch stock held, with any fractional shares being paid in cash. Clearwater stocks began trading on December 16, 2008.
In August 2012, since Clearwater Paper's stocks have failed to rise, the company prepared to split in two and sell one or both businesses.
Part of the reason for the large fall in revenue after 2005 is due to the divestiture of assets such as Clearwater Paper.