The deal, the third largest forestry acquisition in North America, gives Weyerhaeuser a log export dock, sawmill and around 645,000 acres of timberland in Washington and Oregon. It boosts the company’s US landholding to 6.6 million acres.

The Longview sawmill accounts for one-third of Weyerhaeuser’s west coast production capacity and the log export dock is its largest in the region. Longview Timber exports mainly to China and Korea so the acquisition opens Asian markets to Weyerhaeuser.

The company said the newly acquired timberlands could supply timber for the rising housing demand in California.

"Given the growing strength of the housing recovery in California and the strong and stable export market driven principally by Japan, the demand for high quality US west coast timber is strong. And by increasing our high value Douglas fir holdings, we will have more flexibility to meet this demand," a spokesperson said.

It is the third largest forestry deal in North America after Resource Management Service’s US$5bn purchase of International Timber assets in 2006, and Plum Creek Timber’s US$3.34bn acquisition of a timber business from Georgia-Pacific in 2001.

Weyerhaeuser has also announced that CEO Dan Fulton will be retiring this year. He will be succeeded by Doyle Simons, the former CEO of cardboard packaging company Temple-Inland, who will take up the post on August 1.