Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison said he thinks lumber “is here to stay” and he would boost his stakes in lumber companies if “the price was right.”

“If the price was right I would certainly be inclined to invest in the lumber business,” the chairman and chief executive officer of The Jim Pattison Group said in an interview on Thursday.

“It's a cyclical business, prices go up and down significantly and if the timing is right, things should be OK.”

As of 3:50 p.m. EDT, the price of lumber was at US$455 per 1,000 board feet.

Since hitting a high of US$1,686 on May, 7, 2021, lumber has come under pressure and the commodity has dropped 70.20 per cent year-to-date.

Pattison said his company has benefited from lumber demand during COVID-19, as many Canadians renovated their homes during pandemic-related lockdowns.

Currently, Pattison’s company has stakes in west coast lumber companies West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. and Canfor Corp.

In 2019, the Jim Pattison Group’s investment division Great Pacific Capital Corp. tried to buyout Canfor and take the company private. However, the $16-per-share offer only received 45 per cent of support from minority shareholders and Great Pacific Capital terminated the arrangement.

In general, Pattison said there are more deals on the horizon for his diversified holding company.

“We're in the middle of doing two or three transactions as we speak.”