A very busy day in the timberland sales arena! This news release from the MWV web site. --Brian
RICHMOND, VA – August 6, 2007 – MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) today announced a definitive agreement with Wells Timberland REIT under which it will sell approximately 228,000 acres of owned forestland and approximately 95,000 acres under longterm timber contracts for $400 million. The sale is part of MeadWestvaco’s previously announced strategy to segment and manage its domestic land holdings for the highest value opportunities. MeadWestvaco expects to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of this
year, and intends to return the value obtained to shareholders.
The agreement with Wells Timberland REIT includes a long-term fiber supply agreement for MeadWestvaco’s Mahrt Mill, which produces over one million tons of Coated Unbleached Kraft paperboard marketed under the CNK® brand. Under the terms of the agreement, fiber will be sold at market price and the forestlands will continue to be managed and third-party certified under the requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard.
“Our ongoing land management strategy is delivering solid results for our shareholders,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and CEO of MeadWestvaco. “The sale of these forestlands is part of our broader strategy to segment our land holdings for the best possible use, whether that is fiber supply, conservation, recreation or responsible development.”
Nearly 228,000 acres are owned by MeadWestvaco in Stewart, Marion, Quitman and Randolph counties in Georgia, and Russell, Barbour and Chambers counties in Alabama. The sale also includes the conveyance of long-term timber harvesting rights on approximately 95,000 acres owned by third parties.
MeadWestvaco is continuing the auction process for approximately 63,000 acres of forestland located in West Virginia. The company anticipates entering a definitive agreement for the sale of these lands in the third quarter. Upon completion of these forestland sales, MeadWestvaco’s U.S. land holdings will include approximately 800,000 acres throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia and West Virginia.