Friday, December 8, 2023

ACC commercial forestry interests grow

Neal Wallace
Forestry represents just 0.1% of ACC’s investment portfolio, it says.
Ingka Group has been given permission to buy two existing forests and a farm it will convert to commercial forestry.
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The ACC has increased its commercial forestry interests, with a company in which it has a 36% stake buying a second farm in West Otago.

ACC Investments is the largest shareholder in NZ Timber No 1 General Partner, which has bought the 300ha farm.

At 36%, a spokesperson said, ACC does not have a majority or control of the company.

The spokesperson said details of the transaction are commercially sensitive. However, with any farm purchase the higher valued land is typically sold off and the balance retained for planting.

“Properties are purchased to establish a commercial timber crop and earn the carbon income associated with the averaging regime,” the spokesperson said.

None of the properties purchased have been purchased as carbon-only farms.

The spokesperson said forestry represents just 0.1% of ACC’s investment portfolio.

In 2018 NZ Timber No 1 General Partner bought a property at Raes Junction, West Otago, and entered a forestry right with Crown Forestry to manage it.

That property is now fully planted.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of two properties to foreign investors under the-former Special Forestry (one-off purchase) test.

The threshold foreign purchasers must meet to get approval has since been elevated, but these were approved under the former criteria.

United Kingdom-based NZ Forestry Partnership has been granted approval to buy a 368ha forestry block at Castlerock in Southland, for which it paid $7.7 million.

The second approval was to OTPP NZ Forest Investments, a Canadian company that is an indirect subsidiary of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

It has been investing in New Zealand forestry for 19 years and has paid more than $100m for all the shares in GTI 8 NZ, a foreign-owned company that has three central North Island forestry blocks, Tāneatua, Matahina and Wainu, covering 24,500ha.

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