Oak Hill Advisors (OHA) and Bluesource’s US sustainable forests investment venture is acquiring a $1.8bn (€1.81bn) timberland portfolio in a partnership with Anew Climate.

Blue Source Sustainable Forests Company (BSFC) and Anew have bought entities managed by The Forestland Group (TFG) which includes a 1.7m-acre timberland portfolio, Anew said.

BSFC has also agreed to buy additional TFG-managed entities holding an additional 200,000 timberland acres.

Once the transactions are completed, BSFC’s portfolio will exceed 1.9m acres, making it the seventh-largest private forestland owner in the US.

Anew, which is majority owned by TPG Rise, TPG’s global impact investing platform, said it is transitioning the newly acquired lands into sustainably managed forestland for climate mitigation. 

Anew said the deal also expands the nature-based and agricultural portion of the firm’s carbon development portfolio, which includes numerous private, indigenous and public lands, to over 5.6m acres primarily in North America.

Bill Townsend, Anew’s chief strategy officer, said: “Forests, sustainably managed, are and will be a major climate mitigation tool with substantial benefits to local ecosystems and communities.

“Change at this scale requires equal dedication from buyers seeking the highest-quality carbon credits. With the help of several significant global investment firms, led by OHA, and the shared commitment to the climate by carbon-market participants, environmental finance has made a significant stride in furthering climate action through nature-based solutions.”

Jamie Houston, BSFC’s CEO, said: “BSFC’s ownership of these properties will bring the highest degree of care and focus on creating real, additional and measurable environmental benefit for decades to come.

“We are thrilled to shift the management strategy to a model that enables the trees to be valued for their carbon permanence and global ecological benefit. We are creating older, more resilient, more biodiverse forests with long-lasting benefits to plants, wildlife and communities.”

Adam Kertzner, a senior partner at OHA, said: “OHA is pleased to lead this landmark conservation transaction along with support from a global consortium of like-minded investors with a shared commitment to climate solutions.

“We believe this acquisition will be transformational, enabling BSFC to fulfill its mission to be a leader in sustainable forestry, a scale partner for market participants seeking the highest-quality forest carbon credits and to produce measurable outcomes for the climate.”

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