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Roseburg Forest Products buys 158,000 acres of timberlands in southeastern U.S.




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A unit of Roseburg Forest Products recently bought 158,000 acres of timberland in parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

The purchase was the Springfield-­based company’s first timberlands acquisition outside of Oregon and California in the firm’s 81-year history, spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor said Friday.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

The acquisition is part of Roseburg’s continued push into the southeastern United States, which the company views as a solid market with strong demand for wood products.

“This acquisition advances Roseburg’s planned expansion into the southeastern U.S., where steady housing starts and healthy markets create stable demand for high-quality timber,” Roseburg Chief Executive Grady Mulbery said in a statement. “The region’s welcoming business environment and potential for growth also factored into our decision to add the property to our portfolio.”

The timberlands purchase comes about two months after Roseburg announced plans to build a $200 million, 450,000-square-foot engineered wood products plant in South Carolina.

The plant is to be built on 200 acres near Chester, a small community about 50 miles north of Columbia, the state’s capital.

Construction is set to begin in January, and production is expected to start in mid-2019, Taylor said.

When Roseburg announced its plans in July, Steve Killgore, senior vice president of Roseburg’s solid wood business, said the plant would be the “most technologically advanced manu­facturing facility of its kind in the world” and be equipped with the world’s highest capacity continuous laminated veneer lumber press.

Laminated veneer lumber, or LVL, is an engineered wood product used in home construction, mostly in beams and headers above doorways and windows.

The timberlands Roseburg recently bought are near Roanoke Rapids in northeastern North Carolina and extend over the border into southeastern Virginia.

The dominant species growing on the timberlands is loblolly pine, which is “a faster-growing species than the Douglas fir we traditionally have worked with,” Taylor said.

Timber harvested from these areas will be sold on the open market because the new plant in South Carolina won’t have the equipment to process round logs, she said.

With the recent 158,000-acre purchase, Roseburg manages 788,000 acres of timber­lands in Oregon, California, North Carolina and Virginia.

Roseburg bought the timberlands from Forest Investment Associates, an Atlanta-based group that buys and manages timberland for corporate pension plans, state and municipal retirement systems, endowments, foundations and others.

Roseburg operates wood products manufacturing plants in Oregon, California, Montana, Louisiana and Mississippi. It also has a business office in Atlanta.

The company employs 3,200 people, including 125 in its corporate headquarters on Gateway Street, north of Beltline Road.

Roseburg makes a range of products, including softwood and hardwood plywood, particle­board, medium density fiberboard and engineered wood products, such as laminated veneer lumber and I-joists.

Follow Sherri Buri McDonald on Twitter @sburimcdonald . Email sherri@registerguard.com .

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