The Sydney-headquartered asset manager will sell four forestry estates in New Zealand across the country’s North and South Islands, located in the regions of Blenheim, Southland, Taupo and Wairarapa.
The estates consist of radiata pine plantations and produce wood for commercial uses in the domestic and international markets, and all apart from Taupo are freehold. The estates cover a combined area of 16,000 ha.
New Forests said that the assets also represent an opportunity for carbon markets investors, with approximately one-quarter of the estates established on “post-1989” land that is registered under New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme. All four of the estates have also been certified with third parties for sustainable forest management.
UBS New Zealand has been engaged as financial adviser for the sale process.
The sale of the assets follows New Forests’ divestment of forest management company Forico and the largest hardwood estate in the Australian state of Tasmania to a consortium of investors comprising UniSuper, the UK’s Pension Protection Fund and APG Asset Management, the latter on behalf of its client ABP.
The Forico assets were also held the in the ANZFF2 fund, which closed on A$707 million in 2014. A spokeswoman for New Forests confirmed that ANZFF2 still holds several other forestry assets across both Australia and New Zealand.
New Forests managing director, Australia & New Zealand, David Shelton, said in a statement: “We have managed these assets on behalf of investors for 10 years and over this time, working closely with the on-the-ground property managers, have increased production, improved efficiencies and added sustainability metrics to improve the overall health of the assets.
“Forestry is an important industry for New Zealand, contributing to the economy, mitigating against climate change and playing a role in the circular bioeconomy.”