Jerry Barag, president and CEO of CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.
Barag discussed the company’s recent agreement to acquire 1.1 million acres of prime East Texas timberland for approximately $1.4 billion in a joint venture with a consortium of institutional investors. He described the deal as one of the largest transactions in the timberland sector in the last decade. CatchMark will be the largest single investor in the partnership, representing about 25 percent of the total capital being invested.
Looking at fundamentals more broadly, Barag noted that CatchMark believes it has acquired a portfolio of consistently high-quality timberland. In return, that has produced “great gains from the standpoint of market prices,” a trend that is not happening consistently across the sector, he said.
Meanwhile, export demand is currently trending higher, according to Barag. Demand from China is particularly strong, he noted. CatchMark operations in the Pacific Northwest and South are benefitting the most from Chinese demand.