14 Feb 2011

Clayton Utz advises New Forests on Australia's largest private forestry estate

Sydney, 14 February 2011: Clayton Utz has acted for investment management firm New Forests on the largest private forestry estate transaction, by area, in Australian history.

Sydney Real Estate partner Peter McMahon and Corporate partner Matt Anderson led the Clayton Utz team which advised New Forests in relation to the acquisition of the timberland assets of Great Southern Plantations for a total purchase price of A$415 million. The assets comprise 650 properties and 1200 titles and encompass over 2,500 square kilometres in prime forestry and agricultural regions across six Australian states.

Mr McMahon said the complex and multi-jurisdictional nature of the transaction required a highly collaborative firmwide response which included Clayton Utz's Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and Brisbane offices. "Each property represented a different set of issues, requiring close scrutiny and consideration. We were able to draw upon a broad range of skills of lawyers from across our offices to achieve a successful commercial outcome for New Forests."

Commenting on what the deal signalled for the forestry industry more generally, Mr Anderson said: "This transaction reflects the international interest in Australian forestry products and the market opportunities available to investors. I suspect we will continue to see an increased demand for Australian forestry products in 2011."

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.