Under the agreement, GFP will acquire Weyerhauser New Zealand Inc and take full control of the Nelson Joint Venture, including 67,000ha of forest and the Kaituna sawmill in Renwick that processes 80,000m3 of logs annually.

Meanwhile, Weyerhaeuser, which recorded sales of US$21.9bn in 2006, is to take full ownership of the Los Piques plywood mill and more than 40,000ha of forests in Uruguay, which it owns jointly with two GFP investment funds.

“This agreement significantly restructures our international holdings in alignment with our long-term strategic direction, simplifies our investment and management structure in Uruguay and maximises our flexibility,” said Weyerhaeuser senior vice-president Craig Neeser.

“The New Zealand team has made outstanding contributions to our operations there and will continue to position these assets for success with GFP.”

Weyerhaeuser’s decision to restructure its southern hemisphere operations comes off the back of a number of sales in North America, including its Canadian distribution assets to Platinum Equity, its veneer technologies operation in Elma, Washington to Murphy Company and its planned sale of 10 US-based distribution facilities.