MainePERS votes to invest $150m in Silver Creek

Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System will commit to the newly-created joint venture between Plum Creek and Silver Creek.

Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System has voted to invest up to $150 million in Twin Creeks Timber, a joint venture between Silver Creek Capital Management and Plum Creek.

The pension has $12.6 billion of assets under management, and invests in timber under its natural resources allocation. Although it has a target allocation of 5 percent, as of 30 September, it had an allocation of just 2 percent. It usually makes commitments of $50 million to $100 million.

Twin Creeks was set up to enable institutions to invest directly in Plum Creek’s timber assets, with the stated aim of growing a $1 billion portfolio by acquiring timberland from third parties.

Twin Creeks’ initial portfolio was valued at $560 million in September, with 260,000 acres of timberland sourced from Plum Creek, a press release said in September. The vehicle was announced about a month before the timberland giant said earlier this month it would merge with Weyerhaeuser.

Principal and chief executive of Equilibrium Capital David Chen told Agri Investor at the time: “I’m convinced the Plum Creek and Silver Creek fund is even more credible now that the Plum Creek and Weyerhaeuser merger has been announced.” He added that the fund was a reflection of timberland pricing becoming more “efficient”, as increased competition for access to timberland real estate turns the tide towards operational activities.