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Rayonier seeks clearance to buy Canterbury forests

Rayonier seeks clearance to buy Canterbury forests

June 23 (BusinessDesk) – Matariki Forests Ltd., global forester Rayonier’s New Zealand arm, is seeking Commerce Commission permission to buy a swathe of Canterbury forest and farmland owned by the Christchurch City and Selwyn District councils.

Matariki, the country’s third-largest forest owner, lodged the application to buy the assets of the Selwyn Plantation Board, a council-controlled organisation, owned 61% by Selwyn Investment Holdings Ltd. and 39.3% by Christchurch City Holdings Ltd.

Matariki is the New Zealand arm of Rayonier, a global forester based in Florida.

It is unclear whether Overseas Investment Office permission will be required, assuming the Commerce Commission rules the acquisition is not anti-competitive.
Selwyn Plantation Board owns forests in two distinct areas: some 4,200 hectares in the Malvern Hills forests, and further 1,300 ha of forestry rights at Chaneys and Bottle Lake, on the Canterbury Plains.

The board has also been developing mainly dryland sheep and beeffinishing farmland, and converting forest land back to pastoral use.

A 2007 statement of intent predicts the board will harvest around 150,000 cubic metres in 2011, while Matariki’s website says the company harvests two million cubic metres annually, and has forest holdings throughout New Zealand.


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