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Sale of Central North Island forest assets agreed

Sale of Central North Island forest assets agreed.

GMO Renewable Resources ("GMO RR") is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the Receiver of the Central North Island Forest Partnership ("CNIFP") in which the entire forestry estate and certain related assets of the Partnership will be sold to an affiliate of Harvard Management Company ("HMC") for an undisclosed sum. The purchase does not include the underlying land, which is retained by the Crown but the Crown Forest Licences held by the partnership will be transferred to the new owners along with the trees and other assets. The transaction is subject to certain conditions but is expected to be concluded by the end of the year. GMO RR is acting as investment advisor to HMC, which manages the endowment and other financial assets of Harvard University.

Ian Jolly of GMO RR said today:

"Whilst still conditional, the agreement represents a positive resolution to the ownership issues that have surrounded the Central North Island forestry assets for the last two years and provides a significant opportunity for the development of a stable and sustainable management plan for the forest into the future. It also demonstrates our confidence in New Zealand's forestry sector".

GMO RR is an international Timber Investment Management Organisation that acts on behalf of institutional and private investors. It is part of Boston based, Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co.LLC, a privately held global investment firm with US$40 billion of funds under management.

Phillips Fox, Auckland and Ropes & Gray, Boston acted as legal advisors to HMC in this acquisition, and ABN AMRO acted as investment banking advisors.

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