That’s a lot of trees

International Paper is to sell its shares of Carter Holt Harvey to NZ-based Rank Group Investments for $2.50 per share or $1.16 billion.


International Paper is to sell the 50% or so shares it holds in Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) to NZ-based Rank Group Investments for $2.50 per share or $1.16 billion.



Carter Holt Harvey is Australasia’s leading forest products company, with significant interests in wood products, pulp, paper and packaging. The company, which is actually a group of 17 smaller units, employs approximately 10,500 people across New Zealand, Australia and Asia.



“This is an important first step in International Paper’s transformation plan to return cash to shareowners by focusing on two key platform businesses – uncoated papers and packaging – and exploring strategic options for others,” said John Faraci, chairman and chief executive officer of International paper.



Other businesses the company plans to sell or spin-off as part of the transformation include its coated and supercalendered papers business, its beverage packaging business, the Kraft papers business, Arizona Chemical, its wood products business and some or all of its 6.8 million acres of US forestlands.



In an unrelated move, the company announced this week that it is relocating its global headquarters to Memphis, TN from Stamford, CT. The company expects the move to be complete by August 1, 2006.



Last month, the company reported net earnings for its second quarter this year were $77 million, unchanged from the first quarter and up from $62 million in the 2004 second quarter.