PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Forest Capital Partners sold its 1.88 million-acre timberland portfolio on Friday to Hancock Timber Resource Group and Molpus Woodlands Group.
The company, which has headquarters in Portland and Boston, originally paid $1.65 billion for the timberland. The financial terms have not been disclosed.
Hancock Timber is acquiring 573,000 acres in Oregon, 376,000 acres in Louisiana, 264,000 acres in Washington and 138,000 acres in Idaho. Molpus is buying 286,000 acres in Minnesota, 110,000 acres in Louisiana and 138,000 acres in Idaho.
"This portfolio's timberlands are intensively managed, highly productive, and ideally situated near timber markets with competitive pricing," said Dick Molpus, president of Molpus Woodlands Group, which acquires, manages and sells timberland as an investment vehicle for pension funds, college endowments and wealthy individual investors.
Forest Capital Partners had been in the timber investment management business since 2000.
Matt Donegan, the firm's Portland-based co-president, said he plans to spend more time with his family and continue his work in community service. Donegan is the president of the state Board of Higher Education and is on the governor's Oregon Education Investment Board, the newly formed panel that oversees all public education in the state.
Donegan said the timing for the sale was right because he and his partner, Scott Jones, decided they had to get bigger to afford necessary investments in research and development, but the acquisition market was dry.
"You've seen a real kind of collapse in the large transaction market over the last few years," he said.
Donegan said the research and development needs were two-fold — biological research to grow trees better as well as economic research and information technology.
"It's increasingly becoming an information-driven, science-based industry, and you just got to have the scale to afford the R&D," he said.