September 6, 2018 / 7:59 AM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 3-CatchMark eyes 57 cents per share offer for Phaunos Timber

(Updates lead to say Catchmark approached Phaunos board)

Sept 6 (Reuters) - CatchMark Timber Trust Inc said on Thursday it had approached Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd with a possible all-stock offer that values the closed-ended investment company at 57 cents a share.

Shareholders in Phaunos, which has forestry investments in New Zealand, Uruguay and Brazil, last year voted for an orderly wind down of the fund that maximised value while making timely returns to shareholders.

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

The offer from U.S.-based CatchMark values the fund at $284 million, according to Thomson Reuters calculations. CatchMark said it would give the combined company an equity value of $850 million and an enterprise value of $1.3 billion at current stock prices.

Phaunos said in a statement earlier that its board would meet with CatchMark to discuss a possible acquisition offer, which it said represented a "significant premium" compared with Stafford's proposal. There was no certainty that an offer would materialize, Phaunos had added.

Stafford said on Thursday it was extending its own offer for Phaunos until Sept. 13. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Sangameswaran S.; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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