Swiss private equity firm Quantum Global has leased 80,000 hectares in Angola’s Planalto region to develop a large-scale forestry plantation.
The firm closed the QG Africa Timber Fund, dedicated to timber investments in sub-Saharan Africa, on $250 million, it said last year. The fund is part of a mandate from the $5 billion Angolan sovereign wealth fund The Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA). Quantum will invest $1.4 billion in timber, agriculture, mining, healthcare and structured capital for the FSDEA in Sub-Saharan Africa, through five separate funds.
It is not clear whether this investment is from the Africa Timber Fund.
Quantum Global will invest about $50 million into plantation forestry, infrastructure and wood processing in Angola over the next five years, as part of its concession agreement with the government. It plans to create a timber growing and processing cluster in the area, also supported by a small number of existing plantations.
Planalto, a key food producing area, was severely affected by the 30-year civil war, which ended in 1989, and continuing violence. The firm it had targeted the region because it has large areas of underused fertile land, little natural forest and low population pressure, as well as access to transport infrastructure and sufficient water resources.
“[Timberland] investment is core to promoting rural economic development, employment and social-economic development,” Quantum Global’s head of active management Martin Bachmann said, adding that the firm will work towards achieving third-party certification by the Forest Stewardship Council and provide skill development programmes for the local community.
Quantum Global’s alternative assets arm advises funds targeting direct investments in infrastructure, agriculture, mining and hospitality. It also helps manage Angola’s sovereign wealth fund invest in agriculture, timber and minerals. The firm is an investment partner and consultant for institutional investors, according to its website.