New Forests has launched a new fund targeting A$600m (€392m) to invest across forest, land and agriculture markets in Australia and New Zealand.

The global forestry manager’s new vehicle, the Australia New Zealand Landscapes and Forestry Fund (ANZLAFF), will have its first close between January and March next year, expecting to raise A$300m.

Mark Rogers, senior managing director, Australia, New Zealand and the US, at New Forests, told IPE Real Assets that two existing investors were in late-stage due diligence.

“We would probably raise half of what we are targetting at the moment by our first close next year, and we will likely have a second close soon after raising the full $600m,” he said.

Among the investors is a Swedish pension fund believed to have invested with New Forests since its first fund was launched 12 years ago.

Rogers said the latest fund was attracting strong interest from European investors drawn to positive sovereign risks and the outlook of the sector in Australia and New Zealand.

The 15-year ANZLAFF fund will target investments into core forestry plantations in selected investment regions, alongside processing and logistics companies, with some exposure to primary agriculture commodities.

Additionally, it will aim to enhance climate mitigation through carbon sequestration and emissions reduction opportunities.

ANZLAFF is New Forests’ fourth round in its Australia and New Zealand landscapes and forestry strategy.

Rogers said that between the first fund and this fund, the investment theme had switched from buying distressed forestry assets to reverting to agriculture to the reverse.

“With our fourth fund, we want to buy agricultural land with the potential to put it into forestry. We will manage both agriculture and forestry as combined assets,” Rogers said.

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