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Alexander & Baldwin sells Hawaii farmland for $262M

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. agreed to sell the former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. lands in Maui, Hawaii, to Mahi Pono LLC, a joint venture between California-based agricultural group Pomona Farming LLC and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board, for $262 million in a deal that closed Dec. 20.

As part of the approximately 41,000-acre deal, Mahi Pono is also acquiring Alexander & Baldwin's grass-fed cattle project at Kulolio Ranch and Central Maui Feedstocks, the company's energy-crop project. Mahi Pono also assumed all of Alexander & Baldwin's diversified agricultural leases, and the companies will partner in the ownership and management of East Maui Irrigation Co. LLC.

Mahi Pono will retain Alexander & Baldwin's existing agricultural team to help with its farm plan. It plans to use the land to grow a broad range of crops for local consumption and export and expand the cattle operation at Kulolio Ranch. Preserving green, open space is also one of the joint venture's objectives.

In 2016, Alexander & Baldwin announced plans to shift the operations of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar away from sugar farming, where it had grown sugar for almost 150 years.

Separately, Alexander & Baldwin said it expects to record fourth-quarter noncash impairments of $70 million to $80 million on goodwill and other assets in its materials and construction segment. It also expects to record a $15 million to $18 million tax-provision charge related to a valuation allowance against a net deferred-tax asset balance.