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French Firm to Sell U.S. Timberland

Associated Press

A French company has ordered American subsidiaries to sell nearly 1 million acres of timberland from Maine to New York, officials said Thursday.

General Occidentale wants to sell 800,000 acres of Diamond Occidental Forest Inc. land in Maine, as well as Diamond International Corp. holdings totaling 90,000 acres in New Hampshire and Vermont and nearly 96,000 acres in New York.

The asking price totals more than $200 million, said Robert Whitney, executive vice president of LandVest Inc., a Boston-based timberland broker marketing the land in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

It would be the largest such land sale in the region since at least 1960, Whitney said.

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Daniel Christensen, a spokesman for the Diamond companies, based in Old Town, Me., would not comment Thursday on the proposed sale of the Maine woodland. Christensen did confirm the proposed sale of the New York, Vermont and New Hampshire land.

Whitney said the land probably would continue to be used for timbering and said General Occidentale hopes to find single buyers for each of the three packages. The company decided to let its subsidiary market the Maine package itself, he said.


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