Aussies buy into Otago forestry

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

IN AD­DI­TION TO BUY­ING INTO OTAGO’S LARGEST WOOD pro­ducer, an Aus­tralian com­pany has also pur­chased the land be­neath 22,500ha of forests in the re­gion.

A sub­sidiary of New Forests Aus­tralia, ANZFF2 Fund, has been given ap­proval by the Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice to buy the land from United States-based Ro­hatyn Group, along with tak­ing a 38% stake in Wenita For­est Prod­ucts, which owns the cut­ting and man­age­ment rights to the trees on the sites.

Wenita Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, David Cor­mack, told the Otago Daily Times he ex­pects few changes from the deals, for ei­ther Wenita’s 14 staff or more than 110 con­trac­tors it has in­volved in sil­vi­cul­ture, har­vest­ing, road build­ing and trans­porta­tion.

‘’It’s busi­ness as usual for us. We’re not ex­pect­ing any ma­jor changes,’’ he says.

“The Wenita trans­ac­tion is a mile­stone for our ANZFF series of forestry funds as we com­plete full in­vest­ment of ANZFF2, se­cur­ing sig­nif­i­cant scale in both tar­get coun­tries of Aus­tralia and New Zealand,” says Mark Rogers, Manag­ing Direc­tor for New Forests’ Aus­tralia-New Zealand busi­ness.

“New Forests has been se­lec­tive and dis­ci­plined in cre­at­ing the ANZFF2 port­fo­lio. The Wenita ac­qui­si­tion com­ple­ments the fund’s hard­wood and soft­wood plan­ta­tion ex­po­sure in Aus­tralia and brings our New Zealand es­tate to more than 48,000 hectares in to­tal.”

The OIO says in grant­ing con­sent there would be an ‘’iden­ti­fi­able ben­e­fit’’ to New Zealand, as more trees would be pruned to im­prove wood qual­ity and sup­ply to lo­cal sawmillers would con­tinue.

The Ro­hatyn Group has owned its Wenita share­hold­ing since 2005, which it held in a joint ven­ture with Chi­nese lo­gis­tics com­pany Sino­trans and took 100% own­er­ship of the land in 2006.

Fol­low­ing the OIO con­sent on that deal, the Ro­hatyn Group has de­cided to put eight free­hold forests up for sale else­where in the Otago re­gion. The Clutha For­est Es­tate, as they are col­lec­tively known, con­sists of 3000ha of mainly Ra­di­ata Pine, along with some Dou­glas-fir and Macro­carpa.


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