Australian Forests and Timber

OFO to acquire Nelson Forests in NZ

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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.
■ Linda Sewell.

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