Anthony Forest Products Sells 91,360 Acres for $173 Million

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 3:24 pm  

The Molpus Woodlands Group LLC of Jackson, Miss., and Anthony Forest Products Co. of El Dorado announced Monday that Molpus had completed an agreement to buy about 91,360 acres of timberland and timber-cutting rights from Anthony for $173 million.

Under the terms of the sale, Molpus, a timberland investment management organization, will provide much of the premium sawtimber to Anthony's mills in Urbana  (Union County);  Atlanta, Texas; and Plain Dealing, La.

Anthony manufactures lumber and engineered wood products for the building industry, as well as wood chips for the paper industry. Molpus will also continue the Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification of the timberlands, which was achieved by Anthony.

The acreage, in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, is composed of high-quality, mostly mature Southern timberland. The local timber markets are strong with good mill density, and the property provides geographical diversification throughout the three states, a Molpus press release said.

Given its proximity to metropolitan areas and to the proposed Interstate 69 highway corridor, the property "provides diverse revenue opportunities for land sales, recreational leases and possibly other non-timber revenue opportunities," the release said.

"The Anthony properties are strategically located in the Ark-La-Tex Region in a highly attractive wood basket with strong demand from regional wood and paper industries. Also, the Anthony family has, over the decades, done an extraordinary job of acquiring and managing these properties. We look forward to continuing the Anthony legacy of stewardship on this land," said Dick Molpus, president of Molpus Woodlands Group.

Aubra Anthony, president and CEO of Anthony Forest Products Company, said, "Anthony Forest has entered into this strategic transaction and partnership with Molpus to create long-term benefits for our customers, suppliers, shareholders, and communities. Going forward, the Company will have an even stronger balance sheet. We will continue to harvest the quality timber, which we have been intensively cultivating, for our manufacturing operations. Our communities, in turn, will benefit from retained jobs and additional investment in our ongoing business activities."

The transaction is historic for both Molpus and Anthony since both family-owned and managed companies have a timber heritage dating back to the early 1900s, the release noted.




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