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