AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets completes acquisition of Irish forestry portfolio of circa 4,000 hectares

-Separate acquisition of 594 hectare forest in Toulouse, France also agreed-

 

AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (“AXA IM - 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.

Christophe Lebrun, Head of Forestry at AXA IM - Real Assets, commented: “These acquisitions, which reaffirm our commitment to responsible investing, are well aligned with our ambition to geographically diversify our forestry portfolio by crop type and maturity profile. The ability to source and then acquire what is one of the largest forestry portfolios to come on to the UK and Irish market in recent years demonstrates the strength of our origination capabilities, whilst the attractive income profile will benefit investors moving forward. "

“With the wood market in Ireland forecast to double by net realizable volume over the next five years, this acquisition provides us with a significant footprint at the early stage in this growth phase. At the same time, Ireland benefits from an optimal climate, which supports some of the highest growth rates. The Toulouse acquisition was a rare opportunity to acquire a single asset close to a major conurbation and offers the longer term potential to significantly enhance value both through improved environmental management and land value creation.”

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

 

Press Contacts

AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets
Charline Coué, Media Relations Manager
Jocelyne Tamssom, Head of Communications
Tel: +33 1 44 45 97 95
PressOfficeAXAIMRealAssets@axa-im.com

FTI Consulting Inc.
Richard Sunderland, Ellie Sweeney, Richard Gotla, Methuselah Tanyanyiwa
Tél: +44 20 3727 1000
AXAIMRealAssets@fticonsulting.com

 

Watch the interview of Christophe Lebrun, Head of Forestry

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About AXA Investment Managers

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is an active, long-term, global, multi-asset investor. We work with clients today to provide the solutions they need to help build a better tomorrow for their investments, while creating a positive change for the world in which we all live. With approximately €730 billion in assets under management as at end of December 2018(1). AXA IM employs over 2,390 employees around the world and operates out of 30 offices across 21 countries. AXA IM is part of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection and wealth management.

About AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets

AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets has €82 billion in assets under management, including €62.1 billion in direct property & infrastructure and €16.6 billion in real asset finance as of end of December 2018(2). We offer a 360° approach to investing in real assets, which comprises opportunities in equity or debt, across different geographies and sectors, as well as via private or listed instruments. We are a global leader in real assets investment, the number one property portfolio and asset manager in Europe(3), and one of the largest worldwide. Our teams have been managing funds and mandates for over 30 years and comprise over 600 people in 13 offices that operate in over 20 countries around the world, which provide us with in-depth knowledge of countries, cities and sectors.

Visit our websites:    www.axa-im.com / https://realassets.axa-im.com
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1 Source: AXA IM unaudited data

2 Source: AXA IM - Real Assets’ unaudited data

3 Source: INREV/ANREV Fund Manager Survey – May 2018 in terms of assets under management

 

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