On June 16, Weyerhaeuser announced that it will purchase Longview Timber for $2.65 billion next month, giving the Federal Way-based company 645,000 more acres of timberlands in Washington state and Oregon.
Weyerhaeuser spokesman Anthony Chavez said that 312,000 of the purchased acres, or around half, will be in Washington state. Most of the acreage will be west of the Cascades and in much of the Southwest Sound, including Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Cowlitz counties.
The $2.65 billion price tag makes the acquisition the third largest such timber transaction in North America, and includes debt from affiliates of Brookfield Asset.
In addition, the deal bumps Weyerhaeuser’s holdings in the Pacific Northwest to 2.6 million acres. That’s a 33 percent increase, for a nationwide total of 6.6 million acres owned by the company across the U.S.
Finalization of the deal with occur in July, and quarterly cash dividends will be bumped up to 22 cents a share in September. To fund the purchase, Weyerhaeuser will offer 28 million shares of common stock and 10 million mandatory convertible preference shares.
How the transaction will affect the company’s business in the South Sound, as well as job numbers and local economic impact, is yet undetermined, said a source who wished not to be named.
However, Weyerhaeuser did confirm that it’s also looking into a spinoff for its Weyerhaeuser Real Estate homebuilding and real estate development business.
One of the world’s largest private owners of timberland, Weyerhaeuser began operations in the South Sound in 1900. Longview Timber’s 645,000 acres are owned and managed, according to a press release, in an “ongoing intensive reforestation program, with substantially more trees planted per acre annually than required by state law.”