CatchMark acquires Campbell timberlands

CatchMark Timber Trust Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has announced acquisition of 1.1 million acres of prime East Texas timberlands for approximately $1.39 billion. The purchase agreement with Campbell Global, was initiated in mid-May, and is expected to be completed within 45 to 60 days, according to a statement from the company.

The acquisition is a joint venture with a consortium of institutional investors, including BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group, Highland Capital Management, Medley Management Group, Highland Capital Management, Medley Management, Inc., and an unidentified major Canadian institutional investor.

The property is being sold by Campbell Global, a West Coast timberland company which acquired essentially the same property from Temple-Inland Timber Company about ten years ago. Temple Inland currently operates a series of retail lumber outlets in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, and other businesses. With the acquisition of Campbell Global properties in the South, CatchMark's holdings include timberlands in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

In a statement announcing the acquisition, CatchMark said "The highly productive timberlands have an attractive site index and feature a rapidly accelerating inventory profile, projected to grow from the current 2.8 million tons of annual harvest volume to more than five million tons by 2028. The joint venture will assume existing long-term sawtimber and pulpwood supply agreements with Georgia-Pacific and International Paper, which run through 2029 and 2027 respectively. The timberlands are located near the top quartile mills and within approximately 100 miles of three of the top five U.S. homebuilding markets of Austin, Dallas, and Houston, which provide strong, growing, and compelling demand fundamentals."

The acquisition is one of the largest U.S. timberland transactions since the 2007 sale of 1.55 million acres, including other timberlands in Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia by Temple Inland to Campbell Global for $2.4 billion, and the sale of 1.88 million acres by Forest Capital Partners in 2012, for an undisclosed price.

John Rasor, CatchMark's current Chief Operating Officer, will serve as President of the newly formed joint venture company, which will be named TexMark Timber Treasury (Triple T Timberlands.) CatchMark's Senior Vice President of Forest Resources, Todd Reitz, will over see operations for CatchMark's existing properties.

CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc., is a self-administered and self-managed and publicly traded REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) that "strives to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns for all stakeholders through disciplined acquisitions, sustainable harvests, and well-timed sales."

CatchMark began operations in 2007 and owns interests in approximately 514,000 acres of timberlands in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.