Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weyerhaeuser to become a real estate investment trust (WY)

Interesting timing. From MarketWatch:
Weyeherhaeuser Co. plans to change its corporate structure to a real estate investment trust in 2010, the company said Tuesday.

Such a move would require a taxable dividend payment to shareholders totaling roughly $6 billion, a significant portion of which would be paid in stock, as well as approval from its equity owners at the company's annual meeting in April.

Weyerhaeuser (WY 48.07, +5.56, +13.08%) said the OK from shareholders is needed to increase the number of its authorized shares as it moves toward paying the dividend.

The Federal Way, Wash.-based wood products giant said becoming a REIT would best support its strategic direction.

"This conversion will position us to be more competitive in our timberlands business," the company said. "In addition, we are able to convert with our existing business mix" -- timberlands, wood products, cellulose fibers and real estate.

As part of the plan, Weyerhaeuser must issue a special, taxable dividend to stockholders of its undistributed earnings and profits....MORE