New Forests to acquire Hikurangi Forest Farms
New Forests announces that it has agreed to acquire Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.
New Forests anticipates that the purchase, from current owner Samling Group, will be complete by mid-2019, subject to consent from the Overseas Investment Office, with the intention to launch a rebranded business at that time.
HFF is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.
New Forests is currently working through an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations and New Forests’ forward-looking management plans, and will be undertaking engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.
New Forests’ objective is to manage investments to ensure long-term sustainability. “New Forests looks forward to engaging with stakeholders during the ownership transition to chart the future for this business and ensure the long-term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” New Forests’ CEO David Brand said.
Brand continued, “The HFF acquisition secures a cornerstone asset for New Forests’ Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3, complementing the fund’s existing New Zealand forestry portfolio in the North and South Island”.
Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “We are proud of our track record and commitment to sustainable forest management, and this estate has significant potential to be a preferred provider of sustainable wood products.”
“New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future growth of New Zealand’s forest industry,” said Rogers.