AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, a global leader in real asset investments and the leading(1) real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe, announces that it has completed the acquisition, on behalf of clients, of a 4,074 hectare forestry portfolio, in Ireland. In a second transaction, AXA IM – Real Assets has agreed to acquire, on behalf of clients, a 594 hectare forest in Toulouse, South-West France, from a private investor.
The portfolio in Ireland, which is significant for the UK and Irish markets, is divided across 185 estates. Comprising one of Europe’s fastest growing wood types and the main and most valuable commercial conifer species in Ireland and the UK, the mixed age portfolio has a high average wood density of 182 m3/ha. The portfolio’s 36-year typical crop cycle rotation is lower versus AXA IM – Real Assets’ other managed forestry assets, thereby improving the portfolio’s overall income profile. All of the estates benefit from good local infrastructure and close proximity to a number of saw mills.
Gresham House, the largest UK forestry management group, which manages over £1.1 billion of forest assets in the UK and Ireland, will act as the operating partner for the Irish portfolio, with forestry company Veon providing the forestry management services.
The Toulouse forest is managed by the Forestry Club de France and is predominantly comprised hardwood. Favorably located in the Forest of Giroussens, less than 30 minutes from Toulouse, the highly biodiverse area complements AXA IM – Real Assets’ existing portfolio of French forestry assets, both in terms of wood type and geographical diversification, whilst its urban positioning offers longer term change of use potential.
Following these transactions, AXA IM – Real Assets’ forestry portfolio now totals 41,000 hectares, with 15,000 hectares in France, 22,000 hectares in Finland and 4,000 hectares in Ireland. The forestry portfolio is a key tenet supporting AXA IM – Real Assets’ approach to Environmental, Social and Governance performance.
All figures are AXA IM – Real Assets’ data as at 31 December 2018 (unaudited)
1 Source: INREV/ANREV Fund Manager Survey – May 2018 – in terms of assets under management
Source : AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets