Sino-Forest acquires 13,000 ha of NZ forests
Sino-Forest Corporation, a leading, commercial forest plantation operator in China, has announced the acquisition of a 13,000 ha New Zealand forestry plantation. Mr. Allen Chan, Chairman of Sino-Forest and Omnicorp, said, “New Zealand is the second largest exporter of softwood into China after Russia, and China has high demand for quality radiata pine from New Zealand. Omnicorp is Sino-Forest’s partner and platform for sourcing international forestry assets into China. Therefore, transferring MFVL ownership to Omnicorp strengthens the synergies between the two companies and allows us to operate as a truly integrated player, from Omnicorp’s ownership and management of quality foreign assets to Sino-Forest’s extensive sales and marketing in China.”
Mr. Judson Martin, Vice-Chairman of Sino-Forest and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicorp, said, “We are pleased with the completion of Sino-Forest’s acquisition and the proposed intention to transfer Mangakahia to Omnicorp. With the inclusion of Mangakahia, Omnicorp’s new expanded portfolio of quality tropical hardwood from Suriname and fast growing softwood from New Zealand will strengthen its strategy of supplying wood from outside China for China.”
Sino-Forest’s principal businesses include the ownership and management of forest plantation trees and sales of standing timber, wood logs, and complementary manufacturing of downstream engineered-wood products. Sino-Forest also holds a majority interest in Omnicorp, a Hong Kong listed investment holding company with principal activities of of log harvesting, lumber processing and marketing and sales of logs and lumber products. MFVL is the owner of an intensively managed radiata pine plantation in New Zealand called the “Mangakahia Forest”, an area of approximately 13,000 hectares of freehold land with a plantation area of approximately 11,000 hectares. The Mangakahia Forest is located in the Northland region.
Sino-Forest and Omnicorp have not yet entered into any binding agreement and the proposed transfer of MFVL shares is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions including the necessary approvals under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (New Zealand) and approval from the shareholders of Omnicorp.