Forest Capital Partners sells its timberland business

Matt Donegan, Forest Capital Partners' Portland-based co-president, said the time was right to sell the investment firm's timberland portfolio.

Matt Donegan, Forest Capital Partners' Portland-based co-president, said the time was right to sell the investment firm's timberland portfolio. 

Forest Capital Partners LLC closed a deal Friday to sell its 1.88 million acre timberland portfolio to Hancock Timber Resource Group and Molpus Woodlands Group.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but industry experts peg the value at more than $2 billion.

Forest Capital Partners co-president Scott Jones said a small number of senior staff will remain with Forest Capital Partners to manage oil and gas assets retained on approximately 250,000 acres in Louisiana and to develop other opportunities. The majority of Forest Capital Partners employees will continue in their work managing the timberlands in the portfolio, reporting to new employers.

Forest Capital Partners manages 1.88 million acres of timberland. The company has headquarters in Portland and Boston.

The move ends Forest Capital’s 12-year run in the timber investment management business and turns over the ownership of more than half-a-million acres of Oregon timberland.

Matt Donegan, Forest Capital’s Portland-based co-president and co-founder, plans to spend time with his family and focus on his many civic endeavors.

"It's a big one," said Steve Chercover, senior research analyst covering the forest sector for investment firm D.A. Davidson, said of the deal.

Chercover, looking at the acreage involved in the portfolio, estimated the value of the transaction as north of $2 billion, perhaps even more than $3 billion.

Boston-based Hancock Timber is acquiring 376,000 acres of sustainably managed timberland in Louisiana, 573,000 acres in Oregon and 138,00 acres in Idaho.

Molpus, based in Jackson, Miss., is picking up 286,000 acres in Minnesota, 110,00 acres in Louisiana and 138,000 acres in Idaho.

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