MeadWestvaco Agrees to Sell Elkins, West Virginia, Forestlands
Richmond, Virginia, USA, 24 August 2007 -– In continuation of its land management strategy, MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) today announced a definitive agreement with Penn Virginia Operating Co., L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P.(NYSE: PVR), for the sale of approximately 62,000 fee acres of forestland in West Virginia for USD 93.1 million. MeadWestvaco expects to complete the transaction in the third quarter of this year.
PVR is a publicly traded limited partnership that manages coal properties and related assets, including timber, and operates a midstream natural gas gathering and processing business.
MeadWestvaco recently announced an agreement with Wells Timberland REIT to sell approximately 228,000 acres of owned forestland and approximately 95,000 acres under long-term timber contracts. The total consideration from these sales is USD 493.1 million. The company intends to return the value obtained to its shareholders.
“We completed the initial phase of our stated land strategy in a timely manner and realized the highest value for our shareholders,” said John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and CEO of MeadWestvaco. “We are capturing the near-term opportunities while carefully and strategically pursuing longer-term value enhancement activities.”
Included in the agreement with PVR is the 8400 acre MeadWestvaco Wildlife and Ecosystem Research Forest. PVR is interested in continuing to make that property available for research and will be assuming MeadWestvaco’s memorandum of understanding, which runs through 2009.
Following the close of the forestland sales to PVR and Wells Timberland REIT, MeadWestvaco’s U.S. land holdings will include approximately 800,000 acres throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and West Virginia.
MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV)provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most-admired brands in the food and beverage, media and entertainment, personal care, home and garden, cosmetics, and healthcare industries. The company has market-leading positions in its Consumer & Office Products and Specialty Chemicals businesses, and operates in more than 30 countries. MeadWestvaco manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit us at www.meadwestvaco.com.