New Forests Closes Book on ANZFF3 Fund After NZ Purchase

Global Funds now eye forest markets for ‘compelling returns’

Thu 07 Mar 24


One of the world’s largest forest managers has acquired NZ-based Otiwhiti Farm Forest for an undisclosed sum, reporting that “New Zealand is a positive investment destination.”

The acquisition was made by New Forests, which has more than $10 billion in assets under management. It adds to the 1.1 million hectares of forests in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the UK.

According to Dan Bridgman, New Forest’s director of investments, Australia and New Zealand, the 1,246-hectare estate is the final acquisition in its AU $866m ANZFF3 fund.

“We view New Zealand as a positive investment destination where the future harvest is likely to continue to benefit the country’s broader forestry and wood processing industry,” Mr Bridgman said.

“What we like about the Otiwhiti opportunity is partnering with Otiwhiti Land Based Training School to assist in delivering positive educational opportunities into the future.”

Joe Duncan, the director of Otiwhiti Limited Partnership, said the sale to New Forests “followed a strategic land use review, which identified that the highly productive front [western] end of the farm offered the best potential to continue supporting the training school, which has been operating since 2007.”

According to Jeremy Keating, who led the sale process with Wyatt Johnston, “We are delighted to have successfully negotiated an agreement with New Forests, a highly experienced global forestry investment manager ideally placed to establish a successful forestry enterprise at Otiwhiti and positively contribute to the training school.”

The acquisition will see New Forests partner with the Otiwhiti School of Agriculture, directed by Mr Duncan, “with the school include contributing towards capital project upgrades and communications infrastructure, installing a rooftop solar system to improve operational resilience and funding an annual scholarship.”

The latest acquisition comes as Global Asset Managers now eye nature-based forest assets thanks to their compelling returns.

In 2022, New Forests Chair Dr David Brand said, “Forests are perpetual assets, and you can hold them as long as you like.”

For Dr Brand, it is also the solution for climate change “both in terms of the potential of forestry assets to absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and also to provide low embodied energy and low emission substitutes for higher emitting materials.”


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