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Post budget future looks brighter for KIPT

KIPT Managing Director Keith Lamb

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers believes $32 million allocated in the Federal Budget for road funding on Kangaroo Island will be the final piece of the puzzle to clear the way for approval of its proposed KI Seaport development at Smith Bay. Source: Timberbiz

The Federal funding has been earmarked for upgrades of two of the Island’s three arterial roads – Hog Bay Road and Playford Highway which is an integral part of the KIPT’s route to the proposed export facility at Smith Bay.

In December last year, KIPT was asked to provide further information on three matters to the State Minister for Planning Vickie Chapman. The request included evidence of agreement about the road route to bring harvested timber from the west end of Kangaroo Island to the proposed KI Seaport on the north coast at Smith Bay.

The company has worked closely with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport on the specific route and design of the roads and intersections.

KIPT Managing Director Keith Lamb said roads and transport had been a key concern for the people of Kangaroo Island in regard to the timber industry and were raised in all three rounds of the public consultation for the project.

The company developed a draft MOU which formed part of its response to the final round of consultation in March and had close engagement with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

“We acknowledge the contribution of the Minister for Transport and his department, who have worked with us over many months to agree a road solution to minimise the impacts on Kangaroo Island and have led the negotiations with the Commonwealth government to achieve this funding outcome, which is of benefit to all parties,” Mr Lamb said.

“We are pleased that the Federal and State Governments recognise the importance of this industry to Kangaroo Island and that this funding for critical infrastructure now effectively removes the last barrier to approval for the Smith Bay development. We look forward to a timely approval from the Planning Minister and to scaling up our harvest and marketing with the certainty of a route to market.”

Meanwhile KIPT has recommended to shareholders that they reject an offer by a Sydney-based investment management company to buy all of the company’s shares in an on-market takeover bid.

The bid by Samuel Terry Asset Management relies on existing KIPT shareholders agreeing to sell their shares for $1.05 apiece.

STAM is already a substantial shareholder with 14.8 million shares, which equates to about 26 per cent of KIPT’s holdings, which have a total value of $59.23 million.

In a letter to shareholders yesterday KIPT says that the STAM offer undervalued KIPT.

The company also says that by selling their shares now shareholders would “lose the opportunity to participate in KPT’s potential upside”.