The UK’s Pension Protection Fund and Dutch asset manager APG are to acquire a 62% share in New Zealand timber producer Wenita Forest Products.
The investors will be buying the share from the New Zealand entity of Chinese logistics company Sinotrans for an undisclosed amount.
The agreement with Sinotrans New Zealand will bring total ownership of Wenita under the management of forestry investment manager New Forests. A New Forests-managed fund has owned the other 38% of Wenita since 2018.
Wenita has almost 30,000 hectares of sustainably managed forests in Otago.
According to Lea Dubourg-Hrachovec, head of infrastructure, timberland and farmland at the Pension Protection Fund, Wenita is the fourth addition to the pension fund’s programme of direct investments in sustainable, FSC-certified forestry assets globally.
“What attracted us to Wenita is its long-established operational track record, mature, high-quality forest portfolio with a close proximity to the deep-sea port of Chalmers, which makes it a very highly prized forestry asset in New Zealand,” she said.
Hans-Martin Aerts, head of infrastructure and natural resources at APG Asset Management Asia, said the investment was “a great fit with our sustainability strategy and will contribute to ABP’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals”. ABP is APG’s Dutch civil service pension scheme client.
Mark Rogers, senior managing director, Australia, New Zealand and US, at New Forests, described Wenita as “a well-managed, mature asset of scale with strong cash flows, and in a region with domestic distribution and access to export markets”.
“New Forests’ continued involvement with Wenita’s management team will help identify new ways to add value to the business including implementation of our sustainable landscape investment approach,” he added.
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