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PricewaterhouseCoopers to Manage Sale

Thursday 16 March 2006

PricewaterhouseCoopers to Manage Sale of the Opio Forestry Fund

PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance has been appointed lead sale adviser in relation to the sale of the 1,908 hectare Opio Forestry Fund on behalf of the Fund’s trustee and manager, Perpetual Trust Limited.

Indicative offers will be sought by PricewaterhouseCoopers by early May, with a view to completing the sale process toward the end of June.

Corporate finance partner Craig Armitage from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Christchurch office, said the preference would be to sell all the forestry assets and land in one parcel, but that there was some flexibility for buyers to purchase individual forests.

"We’ve had strong preliminary interest and a detailed information memorandum will be circulated towards the end of this month," he said.

The sale process was initiated by majority unit holder, City Forests Limited (“CFL”), a company owned by the Dunedin City Council. CFL put forward a resolution to direct Perpetual to sell the Fund’s forestry assets and land, and accept an offer which represented the “best financial return for unitholders”. This resolution was passed on 8 February 2006.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. About the Opio Forestry Fund

The Opio Forestry Fund (“Opio” or “the Fund”) is a capital growth fund, established in 1981 that has developed and purchased forests in Otago and Southland. Perpetual Trust Limited (“Perpetual” or “the Trustee”) is the Trustee and manager of the Fund. The forests consist of Opio in Southland, Nobleburn and Kaitangata forests in South Otago, and Lawrence in Central Otago. They are predominantly pinus radiata forests.

2. For further information or media inquiries please contact:
Paul Ford
Senior Communications Advisor
PricewaterhouseCoopers

3. About PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance
PricewaterhouseCoopers has the largest Corporate Finance team in New Zealand, and provides innovative, independent and relevant advice to businesses. Craig Armitage leads the team in the South Island practice.

4. About PricewaterhouseCoopers:
PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 130,000 people in 148 countries work collaboratively using Connected Thinking to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. (“PricewaterhouseCoopers” refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.)

ENDS

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