Nel­son Forests up for sale

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

THE US OWNER OF NEL­SON FORESTS HAS AN­NOUNCED THAT THE New Zealand busi­ness will be put up for sale later this year.

The Nel­son com­pany, which op­er­ates sig­nif­i­cant for­est and sawmill as­sets across the top of the south, is owned by in­vest­ment funds ad­vised by Global For­est Part­ners, based in the United States.

Lees Sey­mour, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Nel­son Forests, told the lo­cal news­pa­per that while the sale would “po­ten­tially cre­ate some un­cer­tainty” for staff the prospects are good.

“The busi­ness was sus­tain­able and will con­tinue to op­er­ate in a ‘busi­ness as usual mode’ through­out the sale process,” he says.

“It’s in good shape. We’ve got skilled and com­mit­ted staff. Our av­er­age ser­vice is some­thing like 18 years.”

Mr Sey­mour points out that it is com­mon for forestry com­pa­nies to change hands, adding: “This is kind of a nor­mal cy­cle for the busi­ness. In­vestors invest for a cer­tain pe­riod of time and choose to exit or choose to stay.

“While there was no know­ing what the new own­ers would do with the com­pany, history sug­gested they would stick with the same man­age­ment team.

“No mat­ter who owns the busi­ness they still need a good man­age­ment team.

“What our ex­pe­ri­ence has been in the past is they’ve kept with the man­age­ment team and kept work­ing with them to en­hance the busi­ness. I don’t ex­pect any­thing will be dif­fer­ent this time.”

Around 550 peo­ple are em­ployed across the com­pany. Nel­son Forests as­sets in­clude 78,000 hectares of for­est es­tate and the Kaituna Sawmill near Blen­heim, which is to be in­cluded in the sale, which will be in the form of an “in­ter­na­tional auc­tion”.

The sale comes on the back of the Su­mit­omo pur­chase of the 30,000 hectare Hancock For­est Man­age­ment in Nel­son al­most two years ago.

NZL

Part of the Nel­son Forests es­tate that is be­ing put up for sale.

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