SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE: PCL) today announced it has signed a $1.1 billion purchase and sale agreement to acquire approximately 501,000 acres of industrial timberlands, associated wind and mineral assets, and an interest in approximately 109,000 acres of high-value rural and development-quality lands from MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV). The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of usual and customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Specifically, Plum Creek has agreed to acquire:
- 501,000 acres of industrial timberlands in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia for $869 million;
- An investment in joint ventures consisting of 109,000 acres of high-value rural lands and development-quality lands near Charleston, S.C., for $152 million;
- Subsurface rights, mineral rights and wind power assets associated with the timberlands for $65 million.
“This transaction adds significant assets to our existing timber resource base and is expected to be cash flow accretive in the first 12 months. It also expands our portfolios of high-value rural land and non-timber resources,” said Rick Holley, chief executive officer. “These timberlands have a long history of excellent forest management. The high stocking levels and older age of the timberlands make them particularly attractive. These assets should integrate seamlessly into our existing timberland ownership in the Southeast and add to our presence in key markets. The West Virginia timberlands are contiguous with our high-value hardwood lands in the state.”
“The joint-venture interests in high-value rural and development-quality lands are a good fit for Plum Creek, due to our experience in capturing value from these types of properties. Similarly, the mineral and wind power assets are familiar asset types.”
At closing, Plum Creek will pay the seller $226 million in cash and issue an $860 million ten-year installment note for the assets.
Following the completion of the transaction, the timber harvest from the acquired lands is expected to average nearly 3 million tons annually over the next 10 years, growing Plum Creek’s total annual harvest more than 15 percent from recent levels. The mineral and wind assets associated with the timberlands are expected to generate approximately $6 million of annual cash flow, assuming current commodity prices.
Upon completion of the transaction, through a 50/50 joint venture formed by Plum Creek and MeadWestvaco, the companies plan to pursue an entitlement and development strategy for 87,000 acres of high-value lands over the next several years in the Charleston, S.C., market. In addition, Plum Creek will hold a 5 percent interest (valued at $12.5 million) in approximately 22,000 acres of residential, commercial and industrial properties that are actively being developed in the same market.
Plum Creek expects to use a combination of equity and debt to finance the acquisition, consistent with Plum Creek’s current credit profile and capital structure.
Webcast Conference Call and Supplemental Information
Plum Creek will hold a conference call today, Oct. 28, at 6:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. PT) to discuss its third quarter earnings and this transaction. To access the live webcast and its supporting presentation material visit Plum Creek’s website at www.plumcreek.com and click on the “Investors” link.
Investors without Internet access should dial 1-800-572-9852 at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call, referencing Plum Creek’s conference call. Those wishing to access the call from outside the United States and Canada should dial 1-706-645-9676, also referencing Plum Creek’s conference call. Replay of the call will be available for 48 hours after completion of the live call and can be accessed at 1-855-859-2056 or 1-404-537-3406 (international calls), using the code 31587216.
Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the nation with approximately 6.3 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest. For more information, visit www.plumcreek.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Some of these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seek,” “approximately,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” or “anticipates,” or the negative of those words or other comparable terminology. The accuracy of such statements is subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions including, but not limited to, the completion of the transaction in the time frame, on the terms and in the manner currently anticipated, the cyclical nature of the forest products industry, our ability to harvest our timber, our ability to execute our acquisition strategy, the market for and our ability to sell or exchange non-strategic timberlands and timberland properties that have higher and better uses, and various regulatory constraints. These and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions are detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. It is likely that if one or more of the risks materializes, or if one or more assumptions prove to be incorrect, the current expectations of Plum Creek and its management will not be realized. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and speak only as of the date made, and neither Plum Creek nor its management undertakes any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.