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Australian timber group Forester Gunns is to sell some of its softwood forests for AU$107 million (£69 million).

The sale to a US-based timber investment management organisation includes 46,000ha with pine trees in the Green Triangle region of South Australia, with Forester Gunns retaining some harvesting rights to the plantations.

It is understood that the deal is subject to the buyer securing finance and other customary approvals. Forester Gunns has declined to provide further details about the agreement or the buyer.

Chief executive Greg L'Estrange said the group had already sold the harvesting rights for 33,000ha of the trees and was now selling the trees and the land.

"We have previously sold the harvesting rights for 33,000ha of the 46,000ha and we are now selling the trees and the land," he said.

"Our strategy is that the ownership of long-life plantations is best-suited outside a public company spectrum and private owners are the logical owners."

The Tasmania-based group gained ownership of the Green Triangle forests when it paid AU$332.8 million (£217.6) for forestry company Auspine in 2007.

Forester Gunns will retain ownership of the port of Portland and continue to manage the former Great Southern Managed Investment Scheme plantations.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut