AXA IM plants first investment in forestry

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GLOBAL investment giant AXA IM has acquired around 24,000-hectares of Australian woodland, as well as an associated forestry management business, Green Triangle Forest Products (GTFP) estate, marking one of the largest investments into Australian forestry in more than a decade.

The investment managers made the purchase through AXA IM Alts, with the business acquired on behalf of its Real Assets team, a transaction from investment funds advised by Global Forests Partners LP (GFP).

Funds advised by GFP first invested in the GTFP estate in 1999 and took full ownership in 2008.

The estate in the Australian Green Triangle forestry region in south-east South Australian and south-west Victoria, spans more than 22,000 hectares of productive and sustainably managed land.

The land comprises a mixed-age portfolio of  Radiata Pine forests, which are one of Australia’s major suppliers of sawlog, with an estimated carbon stock of more than 8,000,000 tCO2 store in the biomass of the forest.

The forest aligns with AXA IM’s emphasis on responsible investments that combat climate change, preserve biodiversity and deliver its clients sustainable returns, due to the forest’s significant carbon sequestration characteristics.

AXA IM believes in can in time, through changes to planting and harvesting schedules improve the portfolio’s carbon stock.

With 70% of GTFP’s harvest currently ending up as high value structural timber utilised by the construction industry, AXA IM has the opportunity to aid the reduction of embodied carbon across the country’s construction and housing markets.

“I am very proud of this transaction which adds to our growing global portfolio of forestry assets, now exceeding 80,000 hectares,” said Isabelle Scemama, global head of AXA IM Alts.

AXA IM Alts currently has A$260 billion of assets under management, with nearly 60,000-hecatres of forest being managed across France, Ireland and Finland.

The purchase also represents AXA IM’s first investment into Australia’s forestry market.

“This new investment in sustainably managed forestry is also a further step in our decarbonisation strategy and a way to accelerate our transition to a net zero environment,” concluded Scemama.

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