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Stafford holds first close on Timberland Fund VIII

The global investment manager has already made one secondaries deal from its latest fund of funds in the strategy.

Stafford Capital Partners has raised more than a third of the target for its latest timberland fund of funds and has already made one secondaries deal from the vehicle, sister publication Secondaries Investor reported.

The London-headquartered investment firm held the first close on $180 million for Stafford International Timberland Fund VIII, according to a statement. The fund’s target is $500 million, as Agri Investor reported in July.

SIT VIII will acquire limited partnerships stakes, invest in separately managed accounts and co-investments, and will commit to funds in the strategy.

Stafford has used the fund to acquire a diversified portfolio worth around $50 million containing five US timberland funds, marking its debut transaction, according to the statement.

SIT VIII’s predecessor, the $484 million Stafford International Timberland Fund VII, was 96 percent deployed as of July, partner Stephen Addicott told Agri Investor.

The firm has closed $497 million in timberland deals over the past 12 months including six secondaries transactions. One of these deals, executed from SIT VII, raised $80 million from new and existing clients, according to the statement.

Stafford has $4.4 billion under management and advice. The firm also manages investments in agriculture, private equity, infrastructure and other alternative assets, and has offices in seven global locations.