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Softwood joint venture sale approved

On a more positive note, we are pleased to advise that the sale of the softwood joint venture plantations was finalised today. The Deputy Premier Bryan Green and Forestry Tasmania’s chairman Adrian Kloeden announced back in early December that Taswood Growers had reached agreement to sell rights to the plantation estate to Sydney based firm New Forests for $156m. The sale process, which included Foreign Investment Review Board approval, was finalised today, and our share of the proceeds will be used to retire debt.

The sale price we received was consistent with the average fair value estimate provided by independent valuer James W Sewall Company and represents a good outcome for both FT and New Forests. We have recently released information regarding the softwood sale in response to a Right to Information request (RTI11/24) from Mr Kim Booth MP. The RTI response is attached or can be found at
Sydney investment manager New Forests announced Tuesday the completion of its 156 million Australian dollar (US$165.8 million) acquisition of the Taswood softwood plantation estate, on behalf of the Australia New Zealand Forest Fund, or ANZFF.
The 46,000 hectare estate is located in the north of Tasmania and has been acquired from a joint venture between Forestry Tasmania and GMO Resources. It will continue to be managed on Tasmanian Government owned land under a long-term Forestry Right, which gives New Forests the authority to establish, maintain, and harvest the timber plantations through 2069.
In a statement released last month, New Forests managing director David Brand said it was pleased to acquire the asset, deeming it an important component of the sustainable plantation timber industry in Tasmania. It produces over 550,000 cubic meters of softwood timber a year, largely under contract to local processing facilities over varied age class structures , creating a diversified but steady, growing cash yield.
“These plantations are on generally flat to rolling terrain, with good rainfall and a history of good management [which] makes for a high-quality, long-term investment opportunity,” he said, adding that the asset was a complement to the fund’s existing investment portfolio designed to counter current volatile economic conditions.
The New Forests-managed ANZFF fund has A$490 million under management on behalf of Australian and international institutional investors and is actively investing, according to a spokeswoman. New Forests currently manages approximately 325,000 hectares of timberland properties across Australia on behalf of its institutional investment clients.