CatchMark to Acquire Prime U.S. South Timberlands for $106M In Two Separate Transactions
CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT) announced today agreements to acquire a total of 55,671 acres of prime timberlands in two separate transactions totaling $106 million. The properties are located primarily in Middle and South Georgia (approximately 95% of the acreage) as well as North Florida. If completed, these acquisitions are expected to add 2.5 million tons of timber to CatchMark's merchantable inventory, comprising 72% pine plantations by acreage and 48% sawtimber by tons, and are expected to increase the company's annual harvest volumes over the next decade by 230,000 to 250,000 tons.
The two transactions—known as Oglethorpe and Satilla River—are expected to close during the third quarter, subject to completion of CatchMark's due diligence and the satisfaction of closing conditions, including verification of inventory and title. The transactions will be financed through a combination of CatchMark's credit facility and cash on hand. During 2014, CatchMark has acquired or entered into agreements to acquire approximately 100,000 acres of timberlands, representing a 36% increase in its total acreage relative to year-end 2013. In aggregate, these acquisitions, assuming completion of the Oglethorpe and Satilla River transactions, are expected to increase CatchMark's annual harvest volumes over the next decade by approximately 440,000 to 480,000 tons.
Jerry Barag, CatchMark's President and CEO, said: "These two acquisitions represent the continuing execution of our business strategy to add high quality timberlands with above average productivity characteristics to our portfolio. We believe they will enhance our long-term harvest volumes, improve our product mix, provide durable earnings, and help grow our dividend. We continue to concentrate our purchases in key U.S. South fiber baskets, where we are finding the best relative value opportunities to help us meet these objectives," he said.
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