CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT) announced this month an agreement to acquire 14,923 acres of prime timberlands near the southeast coast of Georgia for $43.3 million, excluding closing costs. The to-be-acquired timberlands in Long and McIntosh counties, the Coastal Georgia Acquisition, will expand CatchMark’s positioning in one of the most competitive wood baskets of the U.S. South, increasing its regional holdings by 36%. Closing of the Coastal Georgia transaction is expected by the end of the year.
Jerry Barag, CatchMark’s President and CEO, said: “This acquisition will not only provide synergies in pricing power, haul distances, and management, but also will meet CatchMark’s objectives for continuing to establish the highest quality timberland portfolio in the industry. In particular, we will benefit from the enhanced merchantability of our harvests to a significant number of local mill customers within a 60-mile radius and a favorable supply agreement. Most importantly, the superior stocking and premier growing conditions on these plantations also meet our criteria and targets for producing durable earnings for our shareholders.”
The Coastal Georgia Acquisition includes 72% pine plantations with stocking of 81 tons per acre. Approximately 92% of the inventory volume is pine and 65% of the inventory volume is chip-n-saw or sawtimber. The transaction’s harvest productivity is expected to be 7.6 tons per acre per year, adding approximately 110,000 tons per year to CatchMark’s harvest over the next decade.
CatchMark also announced that earlier this month the company closed on the purchase of 4,641 acres of premier timberlands located in southeastern South Carolina (Colleton County)—the Carolina Midlands V Acquisition—for $10.9 million, exclusive of closing costs. Carolina Midlands V comprises high-quality, heavily-stocked southern pine timberlands close to strong coastal mill and export markets. Based on current estimates, the Carolina Midlands V tracts contain approximately 224,000 tons of merchantable timber, comprised of 94% pine plantations or convertible natural pine stands by acreage and 65% chip-n-saw or sawtimber by tons.
Barag said: “Carolina Midlands V adds extremely high-quality sites to our existing South Carolina timberlands with the acquisition’s stocking averaging 47 tons per acre. Again, this transaction meets CatchMark’s stringent criteria for building the highest quality timberlands portfolio in the industry.”
The Carolina Midlands V transaction was funded through CatchMark’s multi-draw term credit facility.
CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT) is a self-administered and self-managed, publicly-traded REIT that strives to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns for all stakeholders through disciplined acquisitions, sustainable harvests and well-timed sales. Headquartered in Atlanta and focused exclusively on timberland ownership, CatchMark began operations in 2007 and owns interests in approximately 502,600 acres* of timberland located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. For more information, visit www.catchmark.com.