Friday, 27 February 2015
AXA Real Estate completes acquisition of 3,700 hectares of forest land in Finland with UPM (FI)
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe, announces that it has completed the acquisition of three forest estates in Finland, covering 3,700 hectares in total, for a consideration of €11.2 million, with UPM, one of Europe’s leading forestry companies and a major forest owner in Finland.
The transaction is AXA Real Estate’s first forest acquisition, on behalf of its clients, outside of France and marks the beginning of its strategy to diversify its portfolio in geographies where forestry-related industries account for a significant proportion of GDP. The acquisition brings AXA Real Estate’s total forestry assets under management to approx.€100 million, comprising over 17,600 hectares in total. UPM will continue to provide forest management and timber harvesting services to ensure sustainable management of these forests.
Christophe Lebrun, Head of Forest Investment at AXA Real Estate, commented: “Investor appetite for alternative asset classes has seen a marked increase in recent years while demand remains for strong and sustainable returns. As a sector, forestry is underpinned by robust economic fundamentals and, through being one of the first movers in to this sector within Europe, AXA Real Estate is in a prime position to capitalise on the strong market sentiment and attractive returns. Furthermore, as a real asset, forestry is a safe haven investment and such stability gives it resilience to crisis.”
Sauli Brander, Senior Vice President, UPM Wood Sourcing and Forestry, commented: “We are pleased to have concluded this transaction and the related service agreement with AXA Real Estate. I am convinced that the leading asset management capabilities of AXA Real Estate coupled with UPM’s forestry expertise will prove a strong and lucrative partnership.”
Source: FTI Consulting