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CatchMark Timber explores to buy Phaunos Timber

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(Reuters) – CatchMark Timber Trust Inc <CTT.N>, a real-estate company investing in timberlands, said it was evaluating an all-stock offer to buy Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd <PTF.L>, a closed-ended investment company that is winding down its business.

CatchMark said its potential offer would value Phaunos at 57 cents per share. A combined company would have an equity value of $850 million (658 million pounds) and an enterprise value of $1.3 billion at current stock prices.

The potential offer will value Phaunos at about $284 million, calculations based on Thomson Reuters data showed.

Phaunos, based in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, holds a portfolio of timber assets in New Zealand, Uruguay and Brazil.

If the all-stock deal goes through, the combined entity will be run by CatchMark, the Atlanta-based company said.

In July last year, Phaunos shareholders resolved to wind down its operations, after which the company’s management began planning the sale of its assets.

Last month, Phaunos urged shareholders to reject an offer from a Stafford Capital Partners subsidiary to buy the company for $244.2 million..

However, Stafford said on Thursday it was extending the offer for Phaunos until Sept. 13.

CatchMark, whose shares are down more than 6 percent so far this year, has a market value of about $600 million.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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