Global packaging company Sonoco Products recently sold 55,000 acres of South Carolina timberland to Manulife Investment Management, a firm specializing in sustainable timberland and agricultural investments, for $72 million (roughly $1,300 an acre).
Sonoco had previously committed to using paper made exclusively from recycled materials, intending to no longer source natural tree fiber for its paper production. The sale of the timberland aligns with the company’s commitment to long-term ecological sustainability.
“Through this sale, we are pleased to have the opportunity to maximize value for our shareholders while also ensuring that the property goes to a buyer that puts sustainable management at the forefront of its natural capital investment strategy,” Sonoco CEO Howard Coker said in a press release announcing the sale.
“Manulife Investment Management has extensive experience with these types of sustainable transactions, and we feel confident that these lands will continue to be held in good stewardship,” Coker added.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of packaging products. With net sales of approximately $7.3 billion in 2022, the company has nearly 22,000 employees working in more than 300 operations around the world.
About Manulife Investment Management
Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. The Toronto-based firm specializes in sustainable investing and oversees a high standard of stewardship among its managed timber and agricultural assets.