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CatchMark to pick up SC timberlands for $101.8M

CatchMarkTimber Trust Inc. has agreed to buy the Carolinas Midlands IIItimberlands from Forest Investment Associates-managed funds for $101.8 million,excluding closing costs.

The company said it expects to wrap up the transaction bythe end of the second quarter or early third quarter. It aims to finance theacquisition through its multidraw termloan.

The deal covers 51,700 acres of prime timberlands in SouthCarolina. It comprises 70% pine acres and a 52%/48% pulpwood to sawtimber mix.The transaction is projected to yield annual productivity of 4.8 to 5.8 tonsper acre, which would expand CatchMark's harvest in the next 10 years by about250,000 to 300,000 tons per year. Pending final adjustment before the deal'sclosing, the acquisition would add roughly 2.1 million tons to CatchMark'smerchantable inventory.

Geographically, the transaction is expected to expandCatchMark's footprint in North Carolina and South Carolina to 69,300 acres from17,600 acres. It will also boost the company's total U.S. South acreage to480,400 acres, including its recent timberland in southwest Louisiana,according to a release.