SANTIAGO, CHILE - Masisa SA has reached an agreement to sell 62,000 hectares of its Chilean forestland to US Hancock Natural Resource Group for $203.6 million. News sources report the transaction is expected to be completed within the next two months.

A new company, NewCo, is being formed as part of the deal, with Hancock receiving 80 percent of the shares and Masisa the remaining 20 percent. "NewCo and Masisa signed a long-term contract for the supply of the raw materials for the board plants of Masisa in Chile," the company stated in IHB.de.

The forestland is located in the Chilean regions of Vadivia and Temuco. Almost half of the timber is radiata pine.

"This agreement will allow us to fund our growth plan for the years 2014 and 2015, strengthen our financial profile and add a partner with a global expertise in investment and management of forest assets, which means an important contribution to the strategy Masisa comprehensive development," Masisa CEO Roberto Salas stated in Latercera.com.

A producer of particleboard and fiberboard for use in furniture and cabinetry, Masisa owns and operates composite panel plants in Latin America, including Mexico.

Hancock Natural Resource Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corp. Its division, Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG), develops and manages global timberland portfolios, including those located in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Based in Boston, MA, HTRG's assets under management, as of December 2013, totaled $11.5 billion.

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