Australia’s largest hardwood plantation estate in Tasmania a stand-out asset class for new investors

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates New Forests on the acquisition deal of Forico and a 170,000 hectare plantation estate by a group of institutional investors, including Australian superannuation fund, UniSuper, Acting Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Natasa Sikman said today.

“The acquisition of Forico and Tasmania’s largest hardwood plantation estate sends a clear signal to Government and future investors both in Australia and globally about the world class sustainable management practices in Australia. It is wonderful to see that New Forests will continue to be the investment manager and that they will be looking at ways to add further value by harnessing the growth of the circular bioeconomy, carbon projects, natural capital and biodiversity markets,” Natasa Sikman said.

The announcement of the acquisition adds to the important discussions held this week at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC), where Forestry Minister Murray Watt heralded the importance of the bio-circular economy and the forest products sector’s role in tackling climate change. 

It is an exciting time for Australia’s sustainable forestry and forest products sector as decision makers and investors point in the same direction to increase the positive impact of the circular bioeconomy. A key solution to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement is to decarbonise emission intensive sectors such as the built environment.

“AFPA congratulates NewForests, Forico and the acquisition partners on this deal and looks forward to further promoting the environmental and economic credentials of Australia’s forestry and forest product sector,” Natasa Sikman concluded.

Background information

Australian superannuation fund UniSuper, the UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF), and APG Asset Management N.V (APG) on behalf of its Dutch pension fund client ABP, have announced the acquisition of Forico and a 170,000-hectare plantation forestry estate in Tasmania, from a New Forests managed fund.

Forico is Tasmania’s largest private forest management company. The forestry estate is one of Australia’s largest plantation hardwood estates by productive area and consists of vertically integrated assets and operations spanning approximately 90,000 hectares of productive plantation forest. It also owns key infrastructure along the supply chain consisting of two wood processing mills, a seedling nursery, fibre technology laboratory, and port access via a freehold facility at Long Reach, Tasmania. 

The estate is the largest freehold land estate in Tasmania and a key contributor to the supply of sustainable hardwood domestically and abroad for end uses such as packaging and tissues.

Under the agreement, the three investors will each own 33% of Forico and the forestry estate. New Forests will be retained to provide investment management services. 

New Forests full media release can be found here.


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