Rayonier, Inc.'s Officers and Directors May Have Breached Their Fiduciary Duties
Firm Investigates Possible Wrongdoing by Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
Shareholder and consumer rights law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe LLP has launched an investigation into whether certain officers and directors of Rayonier, Inc. (NYSE: RYN), including former Florida Governor and former Rayonier director Jeb Bush, breached their fiduciary duties to the company and its shareholders.
Rayonier is an international forest products company primarily engaged in activities associated with timberland management, the sale and entitlement of real estate, and the production and sale of specialty cellulose fibers.
On November 10, 2014, the Company disclosed that Rayonier’s interim consolidated financial statements for the quarters ended March 31, 2014 and June 30, 2014 would be restated and should no longer be relied upon. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company disclosed, “As a result of the internal review, Rayonier concluded that it included in merchantable timber inventory for 2014, timber in specially designated parcels located in restricted, environmentally sensitive or economically inaccessible areas, which was incorrect, inconsistent with its definition of merchantable timber inventory, and a significant change from prior years.” This resulted in an overstatement of income from continuing operations during the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2014 and June 30, 2014 of approximately $2 million per period.
Additionally, the Company’s “management determined that there was a material weakness in [its] internal controls related to the merchantable timber inventory.”
Shares of Rayonier fell almost 15% following this announcement. Approximately one month later, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush notified Rayonier that he would be resigning from the Company’s Board of Directors, effective December 31, 2014. In Rayonier’s Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on December 23, 2014, Rayonier disclosed, “Mr. Bush stated that there are no disagreements between the Company and him related to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.” Bush served on Rayonier’s Board of Directors, including the Company’s Audit Committee, during the time that the Company improperly classified its timber revenues in financial statements with the SEC.
Rayonier shareholders who purchased their shares prior to November 2014 may be able to pursue a shareholder derivative action through which shareholders may hold insider wrongdoers accountable for their actions, prevent future misconduct, and bring long-term value back to the company.
If you currently own Rayonier stock and wish to obtain additional information about the investigation and your legal rights, please fill out our form (at right) or contact Miranda Kolbe either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 415-788-4220.