Sydney-based timberland fund manager New Forests is buying Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF) in New Zealand for an undisclosed sum.

David Brand, New Forest’s CEO, said the acquisition secures a cornerstone asset for New Forests’ AUD873m (€549.3m) Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3.

HFF is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region. It includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land.

Brand said the latest acquisition would also complement the fund’s existing New Zealand forestry portfolio in both the North and South Island.

Last July, the manager’s Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 (ANZFF2), acquired a 38% shareholding in Wenita Forest Products and full ownership of the Otago Land, which holds 22,500 hectares of freehold land in New Zealand on which Wenita operates via forestry rights.

The manager has been operating in New Zealand since 2005.

Mark Rogers, managing director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business, said the estate had significant potential to be a preferred provider of sustainable wood products.

“New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future growth of New Zealand’s forest industry,” said Rogers.

New Forests expects the purchase to be completed by mid-2019.Asset was bought