Timberland Investment
96.7K views | +5 today
Follow
Timberland Investment
Timber Industry | Deals & Transactions | Investment Rationale | Financial Performance | Investors | Asset Managers
Curated by Sam Radcliffe
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

TFS Set to Harvest Growth In China and India

TFS Set to Harvest Growth In China and India | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
There are not many companies - if any - that could capture an 80% market share of their industry. But that’s the reward that Australian sandalwood grower TFS (TFC.AU) is eying as its investment in new supplies of the fragrant timber and oil are set to pay off as production ramps up to meet strongly growing Chinese demand.

CEO Frank Wilson, who owns a 12% stake in TFS, laughs off suggestions he’s running the OPEC of sandalwood when he sat down with Barron’s Asia, but he’s acknowledges the company is in a strong position as its transitions from being a forestry investment play to a provider of products hotly demanded for use in incense, perfumes and traditional Chinese medicine. The company has around 30% market share now, but as its plantations mature - trees take 15 years to grow - it could emerge with an 80% market share by 2030. The stock has done well over the past 12 months, with a 37% increase bringing its advance over the past five year to 140%.

TFS is the lone survivor of the shakeout of the Australian timber industry, one that saw a large number of forestry managed investment schemes (MIS) collapse under the weight of too much debt, leaving thousands of investors nursing heavy losses. For Wilson, the ability of TFS to survive the travails of the MIS debacle reflects a focus on a niche part of the industry, rather than more commodity type plantations favored by those forestry plays that hit the wall. “The reason I went into it is that it has big barriers to entry and it had a good end market that wasn’t aimed at one particular manufacturer, industry or country, and that should eliminate the boom-bust cycle you have in agriculture,” Wilson says. “That’s proved to be true.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests launches third Australia New Zealand forestry investment fund

New Forests launches third Australia New Zealand forestry investment fund | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Australian-based fund manager New Forests today announced the launch of its third investment fund dedicated to Australian and New Zealand forestry investment, with more than AUD 660 million in capital commitments.

 

The Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3 (ANZFF3) will invest in a diversified portfolio of hardwood and softwood plantation assets in Australia and New Zealand. The fund mandate also allows for investment in processing or infrastructure facilities, such as sawmills, ports, and bioenergy facilities.

 

***

New Forests manages more then 2.5 billion of investments in Australia and New Zealand and has funds, assets under management, and committed capital of more than AUD 3.6 billion globally. The company’s investments and operations include more than 780,000 hectares of plantation forestry and land as well as the Timberlink wood processing, sales, and distribution business, the forest management business Forico, and the international timber marketing business New Forests Timber Products. ANZFF3 will be managed to reflect New Forests’ longstanding commitments to sustainable forest management, third-party forest certification, and responsible investment.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

UniSuper turns timberland around, increases allocation

UniSuper turns timberland around, increases allocation | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

UniSuper’s failure to sell its $400 million timberland portfolio five years ago led it to change strategy so the investment could become a long-term hold instead. The success of that strategy has convinced the fund to invest a further $200 million into the portfolio.


Originally the fund wanted to completely sell the portfolio to free up capacity for illiquid investments, particularly as it had an extensive private equity portfolio (approximately $2.5 billion) and was bidding on the Port of Brisbane.


“The timber assets were considered as the best target to free up capacity based on a number of factors including fee arrangements, governance issues, OH&S [occupational health and safety] risk and the poor performance of the sector at that stage,” said Kent Robbins, head of property and private markets at UniSuper.


The fund had received “attractive offers” on two of its three timber assets, but its preferred purchaser was not willing to acquire the third, based on structural issues.
***
The ongoing investment into timberland has a current yield of approximately 7 per cent with a forecast internal rate of return of more than 11 per cent. In addition, the existing exposure to the asset has generated a return of 12 per cent per annum over the past five years.


Robbins put the “overarching success” down to one concept; partnership. “We really did take a view that we are partners with our manager, partners with our nominee directors. It wasn’t simply acceptable for us to say we want better outcomes to OH&S, we had to be part of the solution.”

OH&S was one of the biggest concerns, as timberland has been an industry where if something goes wrong it can be catastrophic – but the fund refused to accept it had to be that way.


UniSuper used its position as a large super fund to gain access and learn from some of the best firms in Australia, in particular how mining businesses had improved outcomes.


“It really did involve UniSuper being willing to participate and being willing to provide resources and insights,” Robbins said, adding that the board and the manager, Hancock, have made huge inroads into improving the OH&S outcomes.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

'Doomed' timber investment schemes leave hundreds without life savings

'Doomed' timber investment schemes leave hundreds without life savings | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Initially billed as low-risk investments, failed timber and agri-business schemes around the country have now cost thousands of Australian investors their life savings.


"Pests and diseases, bushfires — these things were anything but safe and the fact that you didn't get a cash-flow for 15 to 20 years suggests that they always were going to be very high risk," Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said. Senator Whish-Wilson is part of a Senate committee examining managed investment schemes in forestry — and why so many have failed.
***
The number of failed schemes continues to grow with a Western Australia plantation of paulownia trees recently put into voluntary administration, leaving hundreds of growers like Warren Carter paying for trees that are undersize and unable to be sold. "Nobody is going to get anything, it's worthless, they might as well put a match through it," he said. "They promised us up to $700,000 for the allotments I had."
***
Earlier this month the company's administrator sent a letter to investors outlining expert advice which said the trees were planted in the wrong place without enough rainfall and the management did not collect enough money to water and fertilise them properly. The result was sunburnt trees half the size they were supposed to be, and worth nothing.
***
The situation is all too common after lucrative tax incentives introduced in the 1990s saw hundreds of plantations established across the country. The vast majority have since failed and Senator Whish-Wilson believes they were doomed from the start.


"What we saw was this massive land grab and almost like a gold rush of trying to grow trees as quickly as possible to meet these kinds of incentives that the Government had put in place, and of course that led to a huge oversupply — no market for these trees at all," he said. "There was no evidence that you could actually grow trees successfully in line with what the prospectuses were offering. "There's been almost a complete failure rate. There's been very few successful schemes."


Forestry managed investment schemes are still being established and the senate inquiry is expected to recommend the Government scrap the tax concessions that have propped up the schemes for decades.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Canadians have eye on $1bn of forestry assets

Canadians have eye on $1bn of forestry assets | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
CANADA’S Public Sector Pension Investment Board could be about to swoop on one of Australia’s most valuable timber plantations, with sources saying about $1 billion worth of forests owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group are on its radar.

PSP executives have been in Sydney this week sounding out counterparties ahead of what some say is shaping up to be an aggressive acquisition spree by the Canadians focusing on Australian property, agriculture and billions of dollars’ worth of upcoming infrastructure assets for sale by federal and state governments.

It is understood a major Australian acquisition is on the cards by PSP and the seller it is engaged with is Hancocks.

Recent forestry portfolios placed up for sale have struggled to secure strong prices, but the industry is now shaking off pain from weaker industry demand and collapsed managed investment schemes, which could see some plantations sell for some more bullish prices, with an increasing appetite for timber from woodchip markets.

In recent months, Forest Enterprises Australia was sold by receiver Deloitte on behalf of investors to RMS for between $125m and $150m, far below some expectations of up to $400m.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

UNESCO Protects the Tasmanian Forest From Australian Logging

UNESCO Protects the Tasmanian Forest From Australian Logging | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has voted to protect all Tasmanian forest from logging — striking down the Australian government’s attempt to withdraw 183,000 acres (74,000 hectares) from the U.N. list of cultural and natural wonders.


Canberra claimed that parts of the forest had already been degraded by the timber industry and should therefore be fair game for further logging. However, U.N. delegates in Doha, Qatar, sided with conservationists who claimed that most of the forest was unscathed and that only 8.6% of the 3.5 million acres (1.4 million hectares) had been damaged.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that he was disappointed with the decision, believing that the untapped Tasmanian logging would aid his nation’s already floundering timber industry. “The application that we made to remove from the boundaries of the World Heritage listing — areas of degraded forest, areas of plantation timber — we thought was self-evidently sensible,” Abbott said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Investment in Australian woodlots pays off for Alberta

Investment in Australian woodlots pays off for Alberta | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

An Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund investment into private woodlots in Australia is paying huge dividends since more than 2,500 square kilometres of land was purchased out of bankruptcy following the 2008 global recession, says AIMCo chief executive Leo de Bever.


De Bever said the $400-million investment in 2011 paid a nearly $100-million return this year after the bankruptcy issues were resolved and the Great Southern Plantations started to produce forestry products.


“This is a perfect example of why it pays to be a long-term investor,” he told an all-party legislature Heritage Fund committee meeting Tuesday.


“We were the only investor that could come in and say: ‘Ok, this is a royal mess . . . but we can provide cash now to the receiver and you will be through with this problem, and we’ll work it out over time.’ In this particular year, that strategy came to fruition.”


Most investors can’t wait two or three years for a return on their investment, but the Heritage Savings Trust Fund is an investment for future generations and doesn’t have to post quarterly profits for clients, he said.
***
De Bever said in an interview following his presentation that the Australian woodlot investment is “a picture deal” that will likely generate another $50 million to $100 million in profit.
***
The opportunity to purchase 640 properties in a half-dozen Australian states occurred after a government program to induce Australians to invest in timber to address a nationwide shortage of wood fibre went off the rails during the world economic crisis, he explained.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Seven bidders for failed Gunns assets

Seven bidders for failed Gunns assets | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

BIDS will begin to trickle in today and tomorrow for bankrupt Tasmanian timber company Gunns.


There are seven final bidders for Gunns assets, according to sources familiar with the sale process, including sovereign wealth funds, US timber investment management organisations and pension funds.
***
Most of the bids for Gunns will have conditions attached and it could be between one to three months before a final sales agreement is signed. Four of the seven final bidders of Gunns just want the bankrupt Tasmanian company’s timber and land. Two of the final bidders want to buy the land, plantations and the pulp mill license. One bidder just wishes to purchase the pulp mill license.


Gunns assets include 175,680 gross hectares of freehold land incorporating 96,850 hectares of hardwood eucalyptus and 3,780 hectares of softwood pinus radiata. A license to build a pulp mill on a 650-hectare site with access to a seaport is included in the Gunns sale. A forestry service business that includes woodchip mills and a nursery are also for sale. The winning bid will be the bidder offering the highest price for the Gunns asset or assets.


As much as 70 per cent of the proceeds of the sale will go to hedge fund Anchorage Capital Group, which bought Gunns debt for between 40c and 45c in the dollar from a group of banks, including ANZ. Gunns’ secured lenders were owed $445.7 million, according to PPB Advisory in February 2013.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests in pole position for Forest Enterprises Australia race

New Forests in pole position for Forest Enterprises Australia race | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

NEW Forests' successful raising of $707 million for a second fund adds weight to suggestions it could be competing strongly to buy Forest Enterprises Australia, which is on the market through advisory firm Gresham, and potentially the Gunns portfolio.


New Forests has previously been named by sources as among the five groups in the contest to buy FEA.


The other four are international contenders, including US-based Campbell Group, GMO Renewable Resources, Global Forest Partners and Resource Management.


FEA was put on the market in December through Gresham and Deloitte, shortly after timber company Gunns came up for sale.

The sales price for the forestry business could be anywhere between $200m and $400m, sources said.


Initial bids closed last month for the 97,900ha of mature hardwood forests and 46,000ha of land in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania.

It is thought that the players competing to buy FEA would have also thrown their hat in the ring to buy the $400m-odd portfolio of Gunns forestry assets, which are being sold through investment bank Moelis and Korda Mentha.


New Forests would not comment on its interest in either of the offerings.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Six final bidders for Gunns sale

Six final bidders for Gunns sale | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Six final bidders will be selected from a list of 20 indicative bids that have been received for Gunns Ltd, after receiver KordaMentha called for expressions of interest in the 139-year old bankrupt Tasmanian timber company on November 1 last year.


Those familiar with Gunns declined to comment on the potential value of the 200,000 hectares of land for sale as well as the license to build a pulp mill on the island state. The six final bidders will have until March 31 to make their offers with the new Gunns owner announced in April, said KordaMentha in a statement.

***

Half of the 200,000 hectares for sale in the Gunns auction is private reserve consisting of native woodland not intended for harvest. The remaining 100,000 hectares has attracted keen interest from timber investors and pension funds.


“Gunns is the last basket of fibre that can be secured in a politically stable country,” says a person familiar with Gunns. Other timber assets for sale in China or South America are viewed as risky investments because of the volatile political climate that has historically characterized those countries.


Some of the bidders who submitted purchase proposals wish only to buy the land and trees. Others want just the pulp mill license. Some want both.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Investment group says timber market is picking up

Investment group says timber market is picking up | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The new owners of timber plantations established by failed managed investment scheme Great Southern say there's a resurgence in the market for Australian hardwood timber.


Investment group New Forests bought land, formerly owned by Great Southern, in six Australian states back in 20-11 and this week completed the purchase of trees growing on the land.


The group, which manages forestry plantations for investors, including superannuation funds and insurance companies, says they're exploring opportunities in new markets including India, and in new product lines, of timber veneers and bio-fuels.


Managing Director David Brand says the biggest market for Australian hardwood, exports of woodchips to Japan and China, is also picking up thanks to a lower Australian dollar.


"The woodchip market is traded in $US terms, so when we go from $US1.05, down to 89 cents US, that goes right to the bottom line, so it's really led to a resurgence in demand in the whole export market."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Hancock in hunt for Gunns asset

Hancock in hunt for Gunns asset | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

US company Hancock Timber Resources Group and three Canadian superannuation funds are believed to have entered talks with receivers about a potential purchase of 200,000ha owned by Tasmanian timber company Gunns, which is expected to sell for more than $400 million when it goes to market next month.


The pension funds include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Alberta Investment Management Corp, according to a source.


The Tasmanian timber business was placed into administration last year, with debts of about $560m, and is expected to come up for sale in about a fortnight through insolvency firm Korda Mentha, with investment bank Moelis advising on the transaction.


On offer will be about 200,000ha of Tasmanian land, half of which is native forests that could not be used for timber plantations.

The Canadians are expected to look at the Gunns business along with interests of the collapsed listed company, Forestry Enterprises Australia.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Australia: Thousands of hectares of south west timber plantation could be returned to agriculture

Australia: Thousands of hectares of south west timber plantation could be returned to agriculture | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The plantation timber industry is playing down concerns about the sector's plight in southern Western Australia despite predictions of a major rationalisation of the estate.

The business that took over tens of thousands of hectares of timber plantations from a collapsed company says as much as two-thirds of the land could be returned to agriculture.


When Great Southern collapsed, international forestry manager New Forests bought 60,000ha of its plantations.


New Forests' David Brand said a third of the land will be returned to agriculture.


He said another third will be retained for forestry while the future of the remaining land will depend on market conditions.

"In some areas, the plantations were pushed out into areas that were too dry for forestry," Mr Brand said.


Increasingly, plantations are being converted back to agriculture, but consultant David Wettenhall insists it is a market correction, not a demise.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Timber supply shortage sparks plantation push

Timber supply shortage sparks plantation push | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
A forestry expert says the Victorian timber industry could be at risk of collapse after decades of mismanagement of native resources.

The owner of Australia's largest hardwood sawmill in Heyfield in Victoria's Gippsland region announced last week it would have no choice but to shut down because it could not guarantee timber supply.

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods employs about 250 workers and processes about 150,000 cubic metres of timber each year, but it has been unable to secure that level of timber from its state-owned supplier VicForests.

VicForests general manager Nathan Trushell told ABC Radio the company simply did not have the resources to fulfil that contract.

Australian National University professor David Lindenmayer said the supply issue proved the need to replace native logging with plantation timber.

As part of the School of Ecology and Conservation Science, Professor Lindenmayer has studied forest ecosystems and the effects of logging and fire in the Central Highlands of Victoria for more than 30 years.

He said the forest in that region had been "radically overcut" for decades.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

TIAA partners give super funds timber and agricultural insight

TIAA partners give super funds timber and agricultural insight | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The $US866 billion ($1.2 trillion) financial services giant TIAA expects there will be at least $US100 billion invested in timberland operations and agriculture across the world in the next 10 to 20 years and has come to Australia to tell Australian super funds how to participate.

 

TIAA global asset management head of agribusiness John Goodreds said it was natural for TIAA to look at long-term investment horizons and that timber and agricultural land and management were "conducive" to such long-term horizons. "These areas are also driven by real fundamentals – they are goods the world needs, not just the latest trends," Mr Goodreds said. He also said they offered exposure to beta and alpha – terms used to describe the consistency of an asset's returns in response to swings in the market. "They also offer inflation protection which a lot of institutional investors are very thoughtful about today."

 

TIAA's two partners in agribusiness and timber, AGR Partners and Greenwood Resources, are also in Australia helping explain the importance of the emerging asset class. Greenwood Resources president and chief executive Jeff Nuss said he had been working hard to identify ways of bringing such an investment to institutional investors. The TIAA-backed Global Timber Resources Fund which Greenwood Resources runs, has raised its required capital of $US670 million. "We anticipate there is probably another $US100 billion in investment capital needed to come into the space and meet the future demand for wood."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests launches timber marketing subsidiary

New Forests launches timber marketing subsidiary | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
International forestry investment manager New Forests launched a new business to undertake Asia Pacific timber marketing for its investments. New Forests Timber Products Pty Limited will be responsible for the sale and marketing of plantation timber products from New Forests’ hardwood plantation estates in Australia, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.

The company is expected to market and sell up to 4 million green metric tonnes of hardwood woodchip per annum once it is established. The business will focus solely on plantation woodchips, in particular Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus nitens, and may expand to other products and markets in line with the growth and maturation of New Forests’ timberland investments.

The new business will be based in Melbourne and led by Director David Evans. Mr Evans brings extensive Asia Pacific timber marketing experience, having been involved in forestry and woodchip export businesses in Australia and Asia for more than 30 years and having sold more than 50 million tonnes of timber products into Asian markets.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Investors eye timber plantation listings

Investors eye timber plantation listings | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
A SLEW of medium-sized ­timber plantations will hit the market as institutional investors look to aggregate smaller allotments and gain a foothold in the strong softwood market.

CBRE head of timberland transactions David Smith said he expected properties valued at a combined $50 million to be listed in the next month.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests cuts itself out of timber firm bid

New Forests cuts itself out of timber firm bid | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

New Forests is believed to be out of the race to buy Forest Enterprises Australia, with sources suggesting that RMS — the world’s second-largest timber management company — has positioned itself as the successful buyer.


New Forests recently purchased Gunns’ forestry portfolio for about $330 million and was believed to be a strong contender to buy FEA, but is understood to have missed out on price

.

Resource Management Services, a private timberland investment firm, serves pension funds, endowments, foundations and family offices.
***
The company had been among five groups in the running to buy FEA, with others including New Forests, US-based Campbell Group, GMO Renewable Resources and Global Forest Partners.
***
The sales price for the forestry business could be anywhere between $200m and $400m, sources said. On offer is 97,900ha of mature hardwood forests and 46,000ha of land in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Exotic timber pests detected in Australia

Exotic timber pests detected in Australia | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

EXOTIC beetles which pose a threat to Australia’s forestry industry, horticultural industry, natural environment and gardens, have been detected in pallets imported to Australia.


Department of Agriculture entomologists and biosecurity officers have confirmed the presence of the Asian longhorn beetle, the brown mulberry longhorn beetle and the Japanese sawyer beetle in some pallets.
***
The Department of Agriculture says a staff member in a warehouse notified the department in May 2014 of evidence of pest activity in pallets that had arrived in late April 2014.
***
The consignments were accompanied with internationally recognised certification that pallets had been treated to manage the risk of timber pests, according to the department.

The department says it has traced all 337 containers and all but a very small number of pallets, in Adelaide, have been ordered into quarantine pending fumigation treatment.


The department is working with the importers and the warehouses’ management to eradicate the beetles. There is no evidence at the moment that any of the beetles have started to establish in Australia or are not contained.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests to buy Gunns for about $330m

New Forests to buy Gunns for about $330m | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

New Forests, a Sydney-based timber investment fund, has signed an agreement to acquire the forestry assets of the 139-year-old bankrupt Tasmanian timber company Gunns for about $330 million, reporting by Data Room has discovered.


New Forests, which raised a $707m fund to invest in Australian and New Zealand timber assets this year, beat out five other final bidders in a fiercely contested auction.


Four of the bidders only wanted the timber assets -- 175,680 gross hectares of freehold land incorporating 96,850 hectares of hardwood eucalyptus and 3,780 hectares of softwood radiata pine. Another two bidders were after a licence to build a pulp mill.


New Forests was not interested in bidding for the licence to build a pulp mill on a 650-hectare site.

***

Established by former Hancock Natural Resource Group executive David Brand in 2005, New Forests manages about 450,000 hectares of land in Australia, the US and Asia, as well as about $2.3 billion in capital, according to its web site.
***
Gunns was considered the last basket of timber that can be secured in a politically stable country. Other timber assets for sale in China or South America are viewed as risky investments because of the volatile political climate that has historically characterised those countries.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Tasmania: Logging on

Tasmania: Logging on | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

MOST people believed the island state of Tasmania had at last found peace after a 30-year war between environmentalists and loggers. Both sides signed a deal two years ago that gave everyone something: secure supplies for timber companies and protection for native forests.

Now, though, Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, has reignited the war. Australia, he says, has too much “locked-up forest”. Mr Abbott wants to open up a swathe of Australia’s most fought-over forest and hand it to loggers. His government has asked UNESCO to remove 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) from the World Heritage-listed wilderness region that covers about a fifth of Tasmania.
***
Forests cover half of Tasmania: in Australia as a whole it is less than a quarter. Battles over access to the land harmed the logging industry. Fearing that supplies would be disrupted, customers in Asia had started looking elsewhere for their timber. For this reason alone, many loggers welcomed the calm that came with the peace as much as greens did. Ta Ann, a Malaysian-based outfit that turns eucalyptus logs into veneer, says it was ready to quit Tasmania, but the peace deal persuaded it to stay.
***
Questions remain about Mr Abbott’s reasons for stripping 74,000 hectares from World Heritage listing. He suggests the entire area had already been logged, “degraded” or planted with timber to be logged. The Wilderness Society, one of the environmental groups that signed the deal, calculates that just 10% of the area had in fact been logged; about 40% was “old-growth” forest, barely disturbed before; and much of the rest was natural vegetation.


At 7.6% Tasmania’s unemployment rate is Australia’s highest (compared with 6% nationally). Mr Abbott blames “Green ideology” for many of the island’s woes, even for Australia’s lowest life expectancy. He wants a “renaissance” of forestry in Tasmania. The industry employs around 4,000 people, about 2,000 fewer than six years ago. The Australia Institute, a think-tank, reckons that Tasmania’s industry can survive only with government subsidies. Delisting World Heritage regions, it argues, will create hardly any jobs. The World Heritage Committee is due to rule on the Abbott government’s request in June.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Mirvac fund in $50m New Forests deal

Mirvac fund in $50m New Forests deal | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A fund managed by Mirvac is readying to sell 20,000ha of forestry land to New Forests Group for more than $50 million.


The fund, Australian Sustainable Forestry Investments, purchased the portfolio from Timbercorp in 2004 and emerged as its largest landlord after the timber group's collapse in 2009.


Mirvac, which is also one of three investors in the fund, declined to comment on the deal. The sale represents the removal of yet another legacy fund from Mirvac's wholesale platform.


The forestry portfolio comprises 68 parcels of blue gum plantation and farming land in the Green Triangle of Victoria and South Australia and in southwest Western Australia.

***

New Forests is also eyeing Forest Enterprises Australia, which owns 46,000ha of land in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania and is expected to sell for between $200m and $400m.


US-based Campbell Group, GMO Renewable Resources, Global Forest Partners and Resource Management are also vying for FEA.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Potential bidders for Gunns get more time

Potential bidders for Gunns get more time | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

KORDAMENTHA partner Bryan Webster has extended the deadline for expressions of interest in all or part of Gunns Group to the second week of January at the request of potential bidders, who have sent teams to Tasmania to examine the bankrupt timber company that collapsed in September 2012 with debts of $3.02 billion. Mr Webster, a registered liquidator, will know by the middle of the month whether the sale of 139-year-old Gunns can be wrapped up quickly with a compelling bid for the whole company, whose assets were valued by PPB Advisory at $795.9 million last February.


If there is no compelling bid for Gunns, the sale process may move towards an indicative bidding process that will whittle potential buyers down to a handful. That will be followed by final bids, perhaps by the end of March, after full due diligence.


The sale of Gunns has attracted a number of long-term timber investors from Asia, North America and Europe. Potential bidders include Hancock Timber Resources Group and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan following a recovery in timber and forestry prices last year. The S&P Global Timber and Forestry Index rose 17.5 per cent last year.

Gunns bankruptcy is blamed on high debt and the fall in hardwood demand and prices from 2010.
***
The sale process of Gunns is complicated by the interests of managed investment schemes in Gunns' timber assets. PPB is the administrator of a number of such schemes. There are 48,984 investors in the managed investment schemes otherwise known as growers whose original investments PPB estimates amounted to $1.6bn. Potential returns to growers is dependent on the continued management of the schemes and harvest on maturity of the plantation timber.


PPB and KordaMentha have agreed that the 50,000ha of timber under Gunns' managed investment schemes will be sold in two parallel processes: one as part of the sale of the Gunns Group or as a self-contained asset in a sale managed by PPB.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests to acquire 80K hectares in Australia

New Forests to acquire 80K hectares in Australia | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

AN AGREEMENT for New Forests to buy 80,000ha of Great Southern Plantations' land has been submitted to the Supreme Court.


New Forests today announced it had signed an agreement to buy the timber plantations in six states, primarily in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

PPD Advisory, the liquidators have submitted an application to the court.

New Forests managing director David Brand said the deal would "unify ownership and management of great Southern Plantations' MIS plantations with the underlying land, which the Forestry Investment Trust bought in 2011."

"The consolidation of trees and land management under institutional ownership would be very positive for the forestry industry, and would let us focus on market development, management improvements and international competitiveness," Mr Brand in a statement. 

"It has taken nearly four years to resolve the restructuring of the MIS land and plantations.  During that time the high dollar has impacted Australia's competitiveness as a hardwood timber exporter, creating uncertainty that has been a source of concern in many rural communities.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Gunns properties raise overseas interest

Gunns properties raise overseas interest | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Global interest is being fielded for former parts of the greater Gunns estate - the AFPT and AFPT 2 timberland portfolios - that have been put on the market.


Prospective buyers range from Australian pension funds, high net-worth individual investors and overseas-based pension funds.


A price tag of about $50 million was suggested for the 94 forestry products in the portfolio.


The Tasmanian assets are being sold by CBRE Agribusiness on behalf of Peter Anderson and Shaun Fraser of McGrathNicol as ''Joint and Several'' receivers and managers of the Australian Forestry Plantations Trust (AFPT) and the Australian Forestry Plantations Trust Number 2 (AFPT 2).


Gunns, based in Tasmania, was placed into voluntary administration in September 2012 after an ANZ-backed syndicate withdrew support for the forestry group's recapitalisation.


This included the group's long-running attempt to obtain approvals for a timber pulp mill at Bell Bay, at a cost of about $2.3 billion.


David Smith, CBRE's head of timberland transactions, said the sale campaign had already generated wide-ranging preliminary interest. The two portfolios were being offered for sale in one line or separately, he said.


They comprise 94 properties with a total of about 11,757 hectares of hardwood plantation across an area of 21,777 hectares.

more...
No comment yet.