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Boise Cascade prices IPO above predicted range

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Boise Cascade Co. has raised $247.1 million in an initial public offering of stock, more than the maker of wood products and building materials had expected.

The company said late Tuesday that it sold 11.8 million shares for $21 each. It had initially set a price of $16 to $18, and raised that to $18 to $20 on Tuesday, signaling better-than-expected demand from investors. The banks managing the offering may buy another 1.8 million shares if there's demand for them, adding $37.1 million to the proceeds.

The Boise, Idaho-based company plans to use $25 million to repay debt and the rest for general corporate purposes. It supplies about 4,500 wholesalers, home improvement centers, retail lumberyards and other customers with products including laminated wood veneer, plywood and other construction materials. Office supply chain OfficeMax Inc. owns about 20 percent of Boise Cascade.

After several tough years following the economic downturn that began in 2008, companies that build homes and make materials for home construction are starting to see their fortunes slowly improve, with improvements in the job market and overall economy resulting in an uptick in demand for new homes.

Boise Cascade expects profit of $39.2 million to $43.2 million in 2012, compared with a loss of $46.4 million the year before. It predicts that revenue rose by nearly a quarter, to a range of $2.77 billion to $2.79 billion from $2.25 billion.

Shares are expected to trade under the symbol "BCC" Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.