Molpus acquires over 26,000 acres across four south-eastern states

The purchase of timberland in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina comes on behalf of an unidentified client as the Jackson, Mississippi headquartered continues fundraising for its $500m firth fund.

Jackson, Mississippi-headquartered timberland investment management organization the Molpus Woodlands Group purchased 26,739 acres of south-eastern US timberland for an unidentified client last week.

Financial terms were not disclosed and Molpus representatives declined to comment.

Located in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, the properties have been under industrial timberland management for 75 years and include properties well-suited for pulp, paper, lumber and panel products production, according to Molpus.

Molpus chief operating officer Ken Sewell said the firm plans to continue acquiring timberland properties in the southern region of the US, where it already has a strong presence.

“These properties provide our client with good exposure to areas with long histories of successful commercial timber production, and they offer strong recreational opportunities as well,” Sewell said.

Molpus surpassed an initial target of $500 million before closing its fourth fund, Molpus Timberland Fund IV, on $662.5 million in October 2014. LPs in that fund are known to have included the Montana Board of Investments, the City of Newport News Employee’s Retirement Fund and others.

According to a regulatory filing shown in March, the firm has raised $116.4 million from 12 investors for that vehicle’s successor, Molpus Woodlands Fund V. Eaton Partners is acting as placement agent for the fund, which has a target of $500 million, according to the filing.

In February, the city of Aurora General Employees Retirement Plan approved a $5 million commitment to Molpus Woodlands Group Fund V. Kent Olson, deputy treasury clerk of the  Tallahassee City pension, told Agri Investor in February that the $1.5 billion pension had also committed $15 million to the vehicle.

Aurora administrator Thomas Connell told Agri Investor in February that Molpus had acknowledged that the pace of transactions with the US timber market of late had failed to meet the firm’s expectations.

“One of the reasons we have continued to invest with them in their experience in sourcing deals and being aware of opportunities that may not hit the public market,” Connell said.

Molpus currently manages a timberland portfolio of 2.1 million acres, valued at more than $2.5 billion.