The Société générale de financement du Québec will acquire vast tract of forest land in upper Mauricie from Smurfit-Stone



    The SGF will become the largest owner of private forest land in Québec

    MONTREAL, May 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société générale de financement du
Québec (SGF) has signed an agreement for the acquisition of forest land owned
by Smurfit-Stone Container Canada Inc. (Smurfit- Stone), a subsidiary of
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. The land acquired consists of two
territories located north of the city of La Tuque, specifically the north and
south blocks of upper St. Maurice, as well as the lower St. Maurice lots.
Covering over 389,000 ha, or 3,890 km2, these lands are known locally as the
"Francs-Alleux territory".
    Through this acquisition, SGF will ensure that Québec's forest heritage
will remain entirely controlled by Québec interests. Furthermore, SGF wants
the land be put into use as a supply source either for the La Tuque plant or
for processing projects. As such, SGF seeks to contribute to the consolidation
of the region's forest sector.
    As an experienced forest land manager, SFG is confident it can increase
the potential of the territory's forest sector. Indeed, in 2006, SGF acquired
La Dunière from Bowater, an important tract of forest land in the Gaspé
Peninsula. SGF manages the territory through its subsidiary, Gestion
forestière Lacroix, and seeks to maximize the forest's long-term return
through sylviculture and sustainable harvest, while working closely with
stakeholders to ensure that the environment and fauna are respected.
    The transaction with Smurfit-Stone is subject to certain closure
conditions. Specifically, the sale is subject to the approval of the Ontario
Comptroller and Superior Court, as specified under the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act (CCAA), as well as the approval of the Wilmington Bankruptcy
Court, Delaware, United States, in accordance with Chapter 11. We expect the
sale will be concluded in the next few weeks.

    The mission of the Société générale de financement du Québec
(www.sgfqc.com), a financial and industrial holding company, is to implement
economic development projects, especially in the industrial sector, by
collaborating with partners under standard performance conditions, in
accordance with the Québec government's economic development policy.
    -%SU: ENV,TAX
    -%RE: 38




For further information:

For further information: Sophie Alarie, Senior Advisor, Communications
and media relations, Société générale de financement du Québec, (514)
876-9368, Cell.: (514) 298-0689

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SOCIETE GENERALE DE FINANCEMENT DU QUEBEC

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