Gunns properties raise overseas interest

Global interest is being fielded for former parts of the greater Gunns estate - the AFPT and AFPT 2 timberland portfolios - that have been put on the market.

Global interest is being fielded for former parts of the greater Gunns estate - the AFPT and AFPT 2 timberland portfolios - that have been put on the market.

Prospective buyers range from Australian pension funds, high net-worth individual investors and overseas-based pension funds.

A price tag of about $50 million was suggested for the 94 forestry products in the portfolio.

The Tasmanian assets are being sold by CBRE Agribusiness on behalf of Peter Anderson and Shaun Fraser of McGrathNicol as "Joint and Several" receivers and managers of the Australian Forestry Plantations Trust (AFPT) and the Australian Forestry Plantations Trust Number 2 (AFPT 2).

Gunns, based in Tasmania, was placed into voluntary administration in September 2012 after an ANZ-backed syndicate withdrew support for the forestry group's recapitalisation.

This included the group's long-running attempt to obtain approvals for a timber pulp mill at Bell Bay, at a cost of about $2.3 billion.

David Smith, CBRE's head of timberland transactions, said the sale campaign had already generated wide-ranging preliminary interest. The two portfolios were being offered for sale in one line or separately, he said.

They comprise 94 properties with a total of about 11,757 hectares of hardwood plantation across an area of 21,777 hectares.

The portfolios also include 17 residential houses as well as an extensive road network.

"We have already fielded inquiries from domestic pension funds and institutions, local farmers, high net-worth investors, offshore institutions and even an international pulp mill owner interested in future fibre security," Mr Smith said in a statement.

There also had been interest from people considering the managed conversion of the land back to various forms of agriculture.

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