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FEDERAL WAY, WA-Hancock Timber Resource Group, an international timber investment and management organization based in Boston has agreed to buy 115,000 acres of timberlands from Weyerhaeuser Co. The value of the deal involving western Washington property is roughly $211 million.

Weyerhaeuser says it will use net proceeds from the sale, expected to close in the fourth quarter, to help pay down the debt associated with the company’s acquisition of Willamette Industries. Weyerhaeuser also said it would close the Enumclaw, Wash., sawmill and the Snoqualmie, Wash., finishing facility effective first quarter of 2003. Customers will not be affected by the closure of either mill.

Weyerhaeuser added 1.7 million acres to its portfolio with the Willamette acquisition. The company now owns or manages approximately 7.4 million acres in the United States.

“We’re continually evaluating our timberlands and manufacturing facilities to determine how we can increase our competitiveness, enhance our operating efficiencies and better serve customer needs,” says Richard Hanson, executive vice president, Timberlands. “After careful review, we identified an opportunity to balance our portfolio by selling this acreage to a qualified buyer such as Hancock.”

The property being sold includes approximately 35,000 acres in King County, 62,000 acres in Pierce County, and 18,000 acres in Lewis County. The Enumclaw sawmill has the capacity to produce 220 million board feet of lumber a year.

In a related transaction, the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation will sell 7,650 acres to Hancock for approximately $11 million. The Foundation is the company’s charitable and philanthropic arm serving communities where Weyerhaeuser has a presence, and is funded solely by the company.

Following the sale, Weyerhaeuser will own or manage approximately 1.2 million acres of timberland in Washington. Weyerhaeuser employs 8,200 in Washington.

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