Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rayonier wants to sell 40% of its NZ holdings

The following is a news release from Rayoniers web site. --Brian

Rayonier Announces Intent to Offer New Zealand Timberland for Sale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 19, 2008--Rayonier (NYSE:RYN) today announced that the New Zealand joint venture Matariki Forests, in which it has a 40 percent interest, has decided to offer its timberlands for sale. Matariki Forests owns the third largest forest estate in New Zealand, with approximately 343,000 acres of timberland well positioned throughout the country. In addition to its equity interest, Rayonier provides timberland management services to the joint venture.
"The decision to offer this high quality Radiata pine estate allows the joint venture to tap the private market's strong appetite for timberland as an attractive asset class," said Rayonier chairman, president and CEO, Lee M. Thomas. "We will work with the other Matariki owners to select a financial advisor and begin marketing this property within the next three months."
A sale of the joint venture's timberlands would be expected to close sometime in 2009.

Monday, August 18, 2008

90,000 Acres for Sale in Adirondacks

LandVest is selling the remaining Finch Pruyn lands for The Nature Conservancy. These properties are located at the southern edge of the High Peaks region. There is a fiber supply agreement existing and there will be, or is, a conservation easement on the land.

For more info, check their web site. --Brian

Two Ongoing Changes in Timberland

Probably the most significant change happening today in the nation's timberland is the rapidly evolving biomass for fuel market. While most of the manufacturing residue has been used - primarily by the pulp and paper industry - for several years, the accelerating change in demand is beginning to show up in the stumpage market.

One of the other changes, perhaps more temporary in nature, is the increase in foreign ownership of U. S. timberland. Reasons include both the weaker dollar, although the fall appears to have reversed, and the European desire for a carbon neutral source of energy.

There is a very good news article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle which looks at the status of these changes in Georgia. You can read it here. The article references a USDA report on foreign ownership of timberland and farms. If you would like to read it, you can download the report here.

On a totally unrelated note, American Timberland Co. has acquired 20,000 acres from International Paper in Horry County, South Carolina. --Brian