The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (the “Company”) today announced that it closed on the sale of approximately 380,000 acres of the Company’s non-strategic timberland and rural land in Northwest Florida to subsidiaries of AgReserves, Inc., a Utah corporation, for approximately $562 million, which included $200 million in the form of a timber note.
The sold land, which had an aggregate carrying value of approximately $52 million as of December 31, 2013, includes the majority of the Company’s timberlands in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties. The transaction did not include land that the Company uses or intends to use for its various residential or commercial real estate developments, resorts, leisure and leasing operations. The Company now owns approximately 185,000 acres of land concentrated primarily in Northwest Florida and expects to continue its forestry operations on a limited basis.
“The net proceeds from this sale will provide us significant liquidity and numerous opportunities to create long-term value for our shareholders,” said Park Brady, CEO for The St. Joe Company. “Management can focus on our core business activities of real estate development in Northwest Florida, including opportunities in the active adult market and expanding our resort and leisure operations.”
AgReserves, Inc. has assumed agreements and contracts existing on the purchased timberlands and intends to maintain timber and agricultural uses of the lands.“Now that the deal’s done, we are looking forward to getting on the property, getting to work, and becoming part of the local communities in the Panhandle,” said Paul Genho, Chairman of AgReserves. “We also appreciate the professional way that St Joe conducted themselves throughout the acquisition process and thank them and those who assisted in this transaction." TAP Advisors acted as financial advisor to the Company in connection with this transaction, with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Greenberg Traurig P.A. as legal counsel. Saunders Real Estate, LLC, acted as an advisor to AgReserves, Inc., with Foley & Lardner LLP and Kirton McConkie PC as legal counsel.