OFO to ac­quire Nel­son Forests in NZ

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

The and rise of fledg­ling forestry com­pany OneFortyOne Plan­ta­tions con­tin­ues with news that it has just signed an agree­ment to ac­quire one of New Zealand’s lead­ing forestry busi­nesses, Nel­son Forests.

“Nel­son Forests is recog­nised as be­ing one of New Zealand’s best run forestry busi­nesses and an es­tab­lished leader in safe and sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment,” said Linda Sewell, OneFortyOne Plan­ta­tion’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer.

“This ac­qui­si­tion re­flects OFO’s in­ten­tion to grow its busi­ness through in­vest­ment in well man­aged forestry op­er­a­tions that have a fo­cus on sus­tain­able do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing and strong com­mu­nity part­ner­ships.

“Lo­cated within New Zealand’s sec­ond largest do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing re­gion, the ac­qui­si­tion of Nel­son Forests is consistent with our growth strat­egy and highly com­ple­men­tary to our ex­ist­ing Aus­tralian op­er­a­tions,” Ms Sewell said.

Nel­son Forests is cur­rently 100% owned by in­vest­ment funds ad­vised by Global For­est Part­ners LP, a USbased tim­ber­land in­vest­ment man­age­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The ac­qui­si­tion will al­low for the ex­change of best prac­tice forestry man­age­ment be­tween the Aus­tralian and New Zealand op­er­a­tions. Fol­low­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of Nel­son rise Forests, OFO in­tends to pur­sue op­tions to in­crease the scale of both the for­est and do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the Nel­son re­gion.

Col­lab­o­ra­tion

“The Nel­son Forests lead team will con­tinue to man­age the plan­ta­tion. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing the team into the OFO fam­ily and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with them to lever­age best prac­tice across both re­gions,” Ms Sewell said.

“With a strong com­mit­ment to work­place safety, en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment and in­no­va­tion, the ap­proach of the Nel­son Forests man­age­ment team is recog­nised as best in class in safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment within the New Zealand in­dus­try.

“This com­mit­ment to truly sus­tain­able forestry and do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing is clearly aligned to the val­ues we have built in our ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions in Australia,” Ms Sewell said.

Since com­menc­ing cus­to­di­an­ship of an 80,000-hectare plan­ta­tion within the Green Tri­an­gle re­gion of South Australia in 2012, OFO has grown do­mes­tic fi­bre sup­ply to lo­cal pro­ces­sors by more than 45% and in­creased the num­ber of trees planted. It has also in­vested ex­ten­sively to sup­port a strong, vi­brant lo­cal in­dus­try and com­mu­nity.

Sig­nif­i­cant role

“We recog­nise that we have a sig­nif­i­cant role to play within the re­gions in which we op­er­ate. Like the Nel­son Forests team, OFO works in close part­ner­ship with re­gional stake­hold­ers and sup­ports a range of lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal, com­mu­nity and ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives,” Ms Sewell said.

“Nel­son Forests is al­ready a strong con­trib­u­tor to the Nel­son/Tas­man and Marl­bor­ough com­mu­ni­ties. I am pleased with OFO’s com­mit­ment to sup­port Nel­son Forests con­tin­u­ing to make th­ese con­tri­bu­tions and for the fur­ther ben­e­fits that OFO can pro­vide to the re­gion. OFO has an ex­cel­lent track record of sup­port­ing do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing and mak­ing sub­stan­tial in­vest­ments to grow its busi­ness and to sup­port the com­mu­nity,” said Lees Sey­mour, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nel­son Forests.

“The val­ues of the Nel­son Forests busi­ness and our ex­ist­ing busi­ness are strongly aligned, and we will work hard to en­sure this con­tin­ues and grows fur­ther fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the ac­qui­si­tion,” Ms Sewell said.

Com­ple­tion of the trans­ac­tion is ex­pected to oc­cur dur­ing 2018, sub­ject to ap­proval from New Zealand’s Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice (OIO). Camp­bell Global, Gre­sham Part­ners and Min­terEl­lisonRud­dWatts were ad­vi­sory part­ners to OFO on the trans­ac­tion.

Lead­ing the way

OFO, owned by Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional su­per­an­nu­a­tion or pen­sion funds and gov­erned by an in­de­pen­dent Board, ac­quired the har­vest­ing rights of the Green Tri­an­gle plan­ta­tion es­tate from the Govern­ment of South Australia in Oc­to­ber 2012.

In the South East of South Australia, OFO has led the es­tab­lish­ment of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Green Tri­an­gle Grow­ers, bring­ing to­gether six ma­jor grow­ers in the re­gion to de­velop new pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity, that will drive in­vest­ment and em­ploy­ment growth and build a sus­tain­able lo­cal pro­cess­ing in­dus­try.

Also on the ac­qui­si­tion front, OFO is cur­rently await­ing ACCC ap­proval for the pur­chase of the Ju­bilee High­way sawmill in Mount Gam­bier. Some months back OFO signed a Sale Agree­ment with Carter Holt Har­vey (CHH) for the pur­chase of the Ju­bilee High­way mill and the wood­chip op­er­a­tions at Port­land.

In­ci­den­tally, the com­pany name takes its ori­gins from the one forty one merid­ian east line that ap­prox­i­mates South Australia’s east­ern bor­der with Vic­to­ria.

■ Linda Sewell.

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