New Forests, the Sydney-based timberland investment manager, has purchased a 4,000-hectare forestry right to a radiata pine plantation in the Hautu-Rangipo region in the central North Island of New Zealand.
The right was acquired as part of a back-to-back deal with Hautu-Rangipo Whenau Limited (HRWL), a partnership of several Maori entities. HRWL sold the forestry right to Taupo Estate Limited, a New Zealand company managed by New Forests. Simultaneously, HRWL bought the underlying Crown land.
MaryKate Hanlon, a spokesperson from New Forests told Agri Investor: “HRWL essentially bought the land and sold the forestry right at the same time – the sale of the forestry right helped enable the purchase of the land.”
The purchased was made by New Forests’ Australia New Zealand Forest Fund II (ANZFFII) which is currently more than halfway deployed, Hanlon said. “It continues to target a balance of hardwood and softwood assets in Australia and New Zealand,” she added
New Forests’ chief executive David Brand said in a statement, “The forestry right purchased by Taupo Estate will further diversify our investment portfolio and aligns with our interest to manage properties for a combination of social, environmental, and economic benefits.”
According to HRWL, the sale of the forestry right secures investment for the future management of the plantation.
The partnership is made up of six economic entities belonging to the local Tuwharetoa tribal group. HRWL Chair, Clinton Ellis, said in a statement, “The partnership with New Forests is a long-term investment and provides us with confidence that the land and forests will be managed in line with both our cultural and economic objectives.”
New Forests manages more than A$2.5 billion ($1.92 billion, € 1.73 billion) in forestry, land and conservation investments on behalf of institutional clients. The company has ten years of experience investing in New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Earlier this month, New Forests hired Geoffrey Seeto as managing director for the company’s Asian business and leader of its Singapore-based investment firm to expand its reach across Asia. Seeto joined New Forests from global accounting and advisory firm KPMG where he was a partner of Asia Infrastructure Markets.
The firm also recently partnered with a Native American tribe in California for a forestry carbon offset project.