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UPDATE 1-Weyerhaeuser explores sale of Uruguay timber business
October 12, 2016 / 6:51 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Weyerhaeuser explores sale of Uruguay timber business

(New throughout, adds comments from executive, adds dateline)

MONTEVIDEO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Real estate investment trust Weyerhaeuser Co said on Wednesday it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, for its timberlands and manufacturing operations in Uruguay.

The Uruguay operations include more than 300,000 acres of timberlands in northeastern and north central Uruguay, a plywood and veneer manufacturing facility, a cogeneration facility and a seedling nursery, the company said.

“This is a strategic revision with various possibilities: one is a sale but another is maintaining operations just as they are today,” the company’s South America Director Alvaro Molinari told Reuters.

Weyerhaeuser has been restructuring its business since it bought Plum Creek Timber Co Inc in February, combining the two largest owners of timberland in the United States.

Since then, Weyerhaeuser has said it would sell its pulp business to International Paper Co for $2.2 billion and its liquid packaging unit to Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd for about $285 million.

Weyerhaeuser said this month it would sell its North Pacific paper unit to private company One Rock Capital Partners LLC.

Molinari said the business has recovered since the 2007-09 world financial crisis.

“We are in a challenging year but there have also been opportunities,” he said. “From the market point of view, we have hit the bottom and we are now starting to rebound.”

He said more than 90 percent of Weyerhaeuser’s output in Uruguay is exported, mostly to the United States and Mexico. (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru and Malena Castaldi in Montevideo; editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and David Gregorio)

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