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New Zealand company takes full ownership of ArborGen

Agriculture
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A New Zealand holding company has taken full ownership of ArborGen, a Ridgeville-based forestry genetics company.

Previously, Rubicon had approximately 33% ownership of ArborGen, with International Paper and WestRock owning the rest of the company; Rubicon bought out the other two partners for $29 million.

The buyout will be paid in three portions: $14 million immediately, $5 million on Dec. 31 and $10 million on June 30, 2018.

“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 realize its full promise,” said Steve Kasnet, chairman of Rubicon. “We are fully supportive of, and excited about, its growth potential.”

Kasnet said that International Paper and WestRock both decided ArborGen was no longer part of their strategies. Rubicon’s holdings include ArborGen and a majority interest in Tenon, a wood products processing, marketing and distribution business.

ArborGen was founded in 2000 and produces genetically altered tree seedlings to help increase forestry productivity.

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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