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Shell Sells Stake In Mangakahia Forest To UBS

28 March 2002

Shell and UBS announced today that Shell's 50% interest in the Mangakahia Forest joint venture, a 27,000 hectares Radiata plantation estate in Northland, has been sold to an investment fund advised by UBS Timber Investors for an undisclosed sum. The joint venture was first established in 1983 between Shell and NZ Forest Products Limited.

The Chairman of Shell New Zealand, Lloyd Taylor said that the sale was a consequence of the decision taken last year to restructure Shell's forestry business, focusing on consolidating the Shell group's forestry assets in Latin America.

"Shell is pleased to have been involved in the establishment of the Mangakahia Forest, and the jobs and economic activity associated with that. With the change of the 50% ownership interest to an investor group focused on the future development of forests, the Mangakahia Forest will continue to provide a positive benefit to the Northland community, the environment and the country," Dr Taylor said.

Michael Edgar, Regional Director of UBS Timber Investors, said that the purchase by the UBS fund is an example of how the New Zealand forest industry can approach the financial investment needed to process the increase in harvest volume over the coming years.

"Our capability to bring this type of investment capital enables the industry to release and redirect funds from its forest resources to processing and marketing of wood products. Security of fiber supply can be assured through long term wood supply contracts rather than resource ownership."

According to Edgar, the purchase was part of a diversified, international portfolio of investments created by UBS Timber Investors for their clients.

UBS Timber Investors structures and manages forestry investments for institutional and private clients of UBS. The timber investments group currently manages over $1.3 billion of assets and commitments on behalf of over 80 clients. Since 1985 the group has invested in over 550,000 hectares of high quality timberland located in the major timber producing regions of the United States as well as in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and Uruguay. UBS Timber Investors is a global capability of UBS Asset Management. With USD 405 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2002, UBS Asset Management is a global investment leader in equities, fixed income, real estate, timber, hedge fund and multi-manager investment capabilities.

UBS AG is a leading global financial services firm with 71,000 employees worldwide, providing a wide range of services to a client base that includes affluent individuals, corporations, institutions and governments. Headquartered in Switzerland, the bank has significant operations in all of the world's major financial centers.

ENDS

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