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Briefing: Foresight adds three forestry properties to its listed vehicle

London Stock Exchange-listed Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company has acquired 429 ha of afforestation assets in Scotland since March.

Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company, a listed UK forestry investment company, has added three afforestation properties to its portfolio.

The most recent acquisition was announced May 31 and is a 70-ha property in Scotland, acquired for £1.1 million ($1.4 million; €1.2 million). The company acquired two properties in March, also located in Scotland, with a total area of 359 ha for £5.47 million.

The background  

Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company became the first listed UK forestry investment trust when it successfully completed its £130 million IPO and floated on the London Stock Exchange in November 2021.

The company was spun out of Foresight Group, a longstanding investor into forestry through its Inheritance Tax Solution, the assets from which were acquired by the listed entity when it completed its IPO.

Why it matters

Foresight spent three years researching and developing its natural capital strategy, the first fruits of which are the listed forestry vehicle.

The firm also has its eye on a debut entry into food and ag investments, with partner Dan Wells telling Agri Investor in November 2021 Foresight is looking at areas such as “regenerative agriculture, sustainable forestry [and] new forms of food production.”

“And that’s simply because we recognize that the overall thematic of how we manage land globally, how we meet the challenge of feeding up to 10 billion people without trashing the planet, those are themes that are really as important as the whole challenge of how we decarbonize the power system,” Wells added.

Some of the food and ag areas into which Foresight could invest include onshore recirculating aquaculture systems, greenhouses and vertical farming.

Wells said these types of food production systems, which are not dependent on good weather conditions for their yield, can use little to no pesticides and have the potential to be powered with renewable energy, “could become infrastructure assets in future.”

“Albeit right now they still have a relatively higher risk profile because it’s still a nascent area, but they potentially have a very high contribution to make to the sustainability transition,” he said.