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Hikurangi FF sale goes through

The sale of East Coast-based forestry business Hikurangi Forest Farms to Eastland Estate Limited has been approved by the Overseas Investment Office.

HFF general manager Ian Brown paid tribute to previous owners Samling Group for the development of the forest over the last 22 years, building it into the world-class forestry asset it is today.

Mr Brown said staff would transition to the new owners and it would be business as usual for the new entity, which became known as Aratu Forests Limited from yesterday.

“I am looking forward to working with the new owners to take the forest and the business into the future,” he said

The sale price has been withheld under the Official Information Act.

It includes about 35,071 hectares of freehold, leasehold and forestry rights land in this region.

The freehold properties are 156 to 222 Dunstan Road, Findlay, Wakaroa, Hineroa, Huanui, Kopua, Mangarara, Okiwa, Te Marunga, Waimanu, and Wairangi forests.

The forestry rights/leasehold properties are Mahurangi, Pohaturoa, Ranganui, Read, Rimuroa 1C, Te Puna, and Whareongaonga forests.

Hikurangi Forest Farms is now owned by Eastland Estate Limited, which is made up of TLP3 Radiata Ltd, Canada (25.8095 percent); ANZFOF3 NZ Pty Limited, which is ultimately owned by The Trust Company (Australia) Limited as trustee for the New Forests Australia New Zealand Forestry Operating Fund 3 (60.4824 percent), which is wholly owned by certain overseas investment funds (The New Forests Australia New Zealand Forestry Operating Fund 3 is managed by New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited); and Samling Global Limited, Malaysia (13.6271 percent).

It was sold by TreeOne (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which is 100 percent owned by Samling Global Limited, Malaysia.

Eastland Estate is an investment vehicle managed by New Forest Asset Management Pty Limited, which intends to continue to use the land for maintaining and harvesting crops of trees as part of existing commercial forestry operations.

The Overseas Investment Office decision says Eastland Estate has demonstrated the land is likely to be used for forestry activities, committed to replanting all harvested crops of trees on the land and committed to maintaining access for the Department of Conservation for protecting indigenous vegetation and fauna, and for Maori owners to fish, hunt, and trap.

It has also committed to maintaining an Indigenous Biodiversity Management Plan with the forest manager to protect indigenous vegetation and fauna, and has committed to maintaining several existing log supply obligations in place with local companies.

As well, the company has confirmed the land contains no residential land, and that huts on the land used for overnight hunting accommodation will continue to not be used for residential purposes.

Samling bought Hikurangi in 1997 and has made a substantial investment to establish it as one of the largest forestry estates in the region.

END OF AN ERA: The sale of Hikurangi Forest Farms to Eastland Estate Limited brings to an end the company’s 22-year presence in Tairawhiti. File picture