SYDNEY – New Forests announces the completion of the Australia New Zealand Forest Fund’s (“ANZFF”) first investment. The fund purchased a portfolio of 32 forestry properties in the Green Triangle region of Australia, the country’s largest wood fibre producing region. The investment comes less than three months after New Forests announced the close of ANZFF, an AU$500 million fund investing in a diversified portfolio of timberland properties and forestry-related investments in Australia and New Zealand.
“Having our first investment in the heart of Australia’s premium forestry region is a great initial acquisition for the fund,” David Shelton, Director, Investment Programs, said. “The properties have long-term potential for sustainable pine and eucalyptus plantation management.”
The acquisition comprises approximately 10,000 hectares of freehold land, which is currently leased to a blue gum plantation manager. The Green Triangle, located along south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia, is one of the country’s most productive and valuable forestry areas.
Institutional Investment in Australian Timberland
New Forests is actively pursuing further investment opportunities across Australia and intends to participate in acquisitions of former Managed Investment Scheme (MIS) estates and State Government forestry assets as they transition into institutional investor ownership.
“There is an attractive opportunity to build a world class forestry estate from the land banks and forestry assets developed by the MIS companies over the past 15 years,” David Brand, Managing Director, said. “The goal is to create a set of regional timber plantation resources with scale, market access, high quality management and strong sustainability credentials.”
Institutional investors, including superannuation funds, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and endowments hold over US$50 billion in forestry assets worldwide, with the asset class growing significantly over the past 20 years. “Australia is one of the most attractive countries for both domestic Australian institutional investors as well as international institutions,” Brand said, “and the current availability of assets creates an opportunity to restructure and consolidate Australia’s plantation timber sector.”