Australia - New Forests to purchase Gunns mills
New Forests announced yesterday that it has completed an agreement to purchase Gunns’ sawmilling, sales, and distribution business from the Receiver, KordaMentha. New Forests will acquire all the assets of Gunns Timber Products (GTP), including the Bell Bay and Tarpeena sawmills. The transaction is anticipated to complete in late January 2013.
The timber business is being sold as a going concern. The sale price is confidential. New Forests confirms the contract provides for continued employment and entitlements for approximately 380 staff and has stated that the business will be managed locally.
“Over the coming weeks, we will be working closely with KordaMentha and Gunns Timber Products staff to ensure a smooth ownership transition,” said David Brand, Managing Director of New Forests. “The Bell Bay and Tarpeena sawmills are key elements of Australia’s regional forest industries. Over the past year we have acquired softwood plantations in Tasmania and in the Green Triangle which provide the core wood supply to each mill. We can now aim to create value by integrating management of the forests with the mills and with the sales and distribution functions. This should allow us to be a competitive and high-quality timber supplier even in the current difficult market conditions.”
New Forests now manages over 375,000 hectares of forestland and timber plantations across Australia on behalf of institutional investors, primarily superannuation funds, pension funds, and insurance companies. “We are long-term investors in Australia’s plantation forestry sector and seek to be part of the growth and development of the industry. We aim to continue to invest and grow our business in Australia, which despite the high Australian dollar and reduced housing starts, remains among the most attractive forestry investment opportunities in the world,” said Brand.