Consortium To Acquire Major NZ Forest Estates
15 July 2005
Rayonier/Rreef Infrastructure Consortium To Acquire Major NZ Forest Estates
A consortium comprising Rayonier Inc, one of the world’s leading forest products companies, and RREEF Infrastructure, the global infrastructure investing arm of Deutsche Asset Management, today announced details of transactions that will see the consortium become one of the largest plantation forest owners and managers in New Zealand.
The consortium has entered an agreement to purchase more than 95,000 hectares of mainly Radiata Pine plantation forests in the North and South Islands of New Zealand from Carter Holt Harvey (CHH). Simultaneously, Rayonier will sell its existing plantation forest assets – approximately 48,000 hectares of plantation forest and 30,000 hectares of freehold land – to the consortium.
The successful completion of these two transactions will see the consortium become the owner of the third largest forest plantation, by area, in New Zealand.
Rayonier New Zealand Ltd, a subsidiary of Rayonier Inc, with over 17 years experience in the New Zealand forest industry, has been appointed to manage the combined forest estate of more than 143,000 hectares.
Paul Nicholls, General Manager of Rayonier New Zealand Ltd said the purchase was part of a long term growth strategy for Rayonier in New Zealand.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to invest in and manage one of New Zealand’s largest forest estates, and benefit from partnering with an experienced global infrastructure manager,“ said Mr Nicholls. “We are able to efficiently grow our business in the region through our significant investment in the consortium’s estates while partially monetizing our NZ timberland investments”.
Shaun Mays, Global Head of RREEF Infrastructure, said the deal builds on its successful plantation forest investment in Australia, which it has owned and managed since 1998.
“For our clients, the combined New Zealand forest estates have a number of key attractions including diversification across geographies and customer base, improved economies of scale, and the potential for capital growth through improved harvest management,” said Mr Mays.
“It provides our investors with a growing, diversified asset which we expect will generate an attractive, stable yield for the long-term, with low correlation to other asset classes,” he said.
Rayonier Inc., a U.S. forest products company with over 75 years of industry experience, has operated in New Zealand since 1988 and currently owns 48,000 hectares in New Zealand and 800,000 hectares in the U.S. In addition, the company provides management and marketing services to owners of 46,000 hectares of forests in New Zealand and Australia. Rayonier Inc. has customers in 50 countries and is the world’s leading producer of high-performance specialty cellulose fibres.
About RREEF Infrastructure
RREEF Infrastructure is the global infrastructure investment business of Deutsche Asset Management, one of the world’s leading fund managers. Based in New York, RREEF Infrastructure also has hubs in Sydney (serving the Asia Pacific region) and London (providing services to Europe). With more than A$1 billion in assets under management, RREEF Infrastructure invests in infrastructure assets within the transport, communications and utilities sectors. The business also invests in other specialist sectors including forestry, social infrastructure and bulk storage.