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Timbervest III reaches full deployment-update

The Atlanta based timber investment firm has acquired a total of 2,550 acres of pine assets in the US states of Georgia, Tennessee and Vermont, for its Timbervest Partners III fund.

Timbervest Partners III, the $409 million Atlanta-based timber investment fund, has drawn down 100 percent of LP capital commitments in the wake of three new timber acquisitions.

The 10-year fund, that closed in April 2011, acquired 2,550 acres of industrial pine assets in the state of Georgia, 9,400-acre of mixed hardwoods and loblolly pine plantations in north west Tennessee and 1,270 acres of mixed hardwood in Vermont, late last week. The latter location could include maple syrup harvesting as well as timber production.

The firm also made two more timber acquisitions in recent days, in the states of Virginia and Alabama.

These recent acquisitions take Fund III’s total acreage to 33,200.

Fund III is Timbervest’s latest fund and closed in April 2011 after getting commitments from 108 LPs including the $45 billion Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, the state’s asset and fiduciary management firm and a returning investor after committing to two previous Timbervest funds, according to Stephanie Hammond, director of business development and client services. There are no immediate plans to launch Fund IV, added Hammond.

The firm does not use placement agents but employs a European asset management firm to channel investment from Europeans LPs in return for a quarterly management fee, according to SEC filings. The European firm name was not disclosed by the firm.

Timbervest was subject to an SEC litigation decision in August this year, ordering four of the firm’s management team to “disgorge” $1.8 million relating to three prohibited transactions which took place between 2006 and 2007. The firm responded in a letter made public on the day of decision. “The alleged infractions in this proceeding are old and isolated. Of the hundreds of transactions Timbervest has conducted with enormous sums of money at stake, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement has pointed to only three,” said Joel Shapiro, chief executive of Timbervest. “despite [the stories in the press], our business is solid and growing.”

Timbervest has two other timber funds: Timbervest Partners II closed on $427 million in 2007 after getting commitments from 136 LPs and Timbervest Partners LP, the first vehicle, raised $200 million from 115 LPs  in 2005, according to SEC filings.

Timbervest has three more funds under management focusing on environmental markets. It has $1.2 billion of assets under management.