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Rubicon acquires ArborGen

Rubicon Ltd has announced that it has taken full ownership of the US-based advanced forestry genetics company, ArborGen Inc, after buying out its partners International Paper and WestRock.

New Zealand-based investment company Rubicon Ltd announced June 29 that it has “taken full ownership” of the US-based producer of conventional and advanced genetic tree seedlings, ArborGen Inc., after buying out its partners International Paper, a US-headed global pulp and paper products major and WestRock Company Inc., a US-headed global corrugated packaging major. ArborGen currently operates seedling research and production facilities in the US, Brazil and New Zealand.

We are absolutely delighted to have been able to complete this deal. ArborGen has built an undisputed leadership position in global forestry genetics. Its strategic positioning and operational execution are second to none. ArborGen has always been core for us – we are a founding partner of the business, and we have for some time been keen to extend our involvement to help the company realise its full promise. We are fully supportive of, and excited about, its growth potential, said Stephen Kasnet, Chairman of Rubicon in a statement.

According to Kasnet, the shareholders’ agreement that was created upon the initial establishment of ArborGen and incorporates clear mechanics for the buy-out of existing partners.

Much has changed with our partners in terms of their own strategic agendas, which has now delivered this acquisition opportunity for us. We fully understand that ArborGen is no longer within each of their core mandates and we wish them well in those endeavours, said Kasnet.

The purchase price of US$29 million is to be paid in three tranches – US$14 million on closing June 29, US$5 million on 31 December 2017, and US$10 million on 30 June 2018.

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