THE ROHATYN GROUP COMPLETES EXIT FROM WENITA FOREST PRODUCTS & OTAGO LAND
New York, NY, July 9, 2018 – The Rohatyn Group (“TRG”), a specialized asset management firm with expertise in emerging markets and real assets, and New Forests, a forestry investment manager, today announced that New Forests’ Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 (“ANZFF2”) has acquired a 38% shareholding in Wenita Forest Products Ltd (“Wenita”) and full ownership of the Otago Land Company (“OLC”), which holds 22,500 hectares of freehold land on which Wenita operates via forestry rights. New Forests is acquiring the assets from TRG, which first purchased the Wenita shareholding in 2005 in a joint venture with Chinese logistics company Sinotrans and 100% of the OLC land in 2006.
Wenita is the largest softwood timber producer in New Zealand’s Otago region with a 29,200-hectare estate growing primarily radiata pine. Wenita maintains Forest Stewardship Council® certification of responsible forest management and has high standards for care of the environment, worker safety, and the quality of its forests and timber.
TRG Partner Ian Jolly said, “The ultimate success of this investment for TRG has been the result of significant direct involvement in the management of the plantations, including the setting of its business model and an extremely collaborative relationship with Sinotrans. At the time of acquisition, the Wenita estate was depleted, had very high operating costs and relatively poor yields. During our ownership, inventory has recovered, yields are greatly improved, and operating costs have reduced dramatically as harvesting is now in the second rotation. We are delighted to deliver a strong realized return from this investment to our clients.”
New Forests Portfolio Manager Matthew Crapp commented, “Wenita manages a high-quality forestry resource that will be a strong addition to the ANZFF2 portfolio.”