Top-tier NZ firms help secure regulatory approval for forestry company sale

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The sale of New Zealand’s Nelson Forests to Australia’s OneFortyOne Plantations (OFO), which recently recieved the green light from regulators, involved three firms from New Zealand and the US.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts advised OFO, which bought Nelson Forests from Nelson Properties Ltd (NPL), an investment fund advised by Global Forest Partners (GFP). Bell Gully Was lead legal counsel for NPL, while Foley Hoag acted as US counsel to GFP and NPL.

New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office approved the deal on 20 August. The deal closed on 4 September. Financial details of the transaction, which was first announced late last year, were not disclosed.

The team from MinterEllisonRuddWatts was led by corporate partner Mark Forman.

The Bell Gully team was led by senior counsel Clive Taylor and senior associate Philip Leightley.

Foley Hoag fielded a team led by partners James Smith and Meredith Haviland. Counsel Catherine Anderson and associates Anderson Chang and Caroline Samp also provided expert advice.

Nelson Forests owns more than 60,000 productive hectares of pine forests in New Zealand’s Nelson and Marlborough regions. It also owns the Kaituna Sawmill in Marlborough.

Based in the US-based, GFP is one of the oldest and largest timberland assets-focused private equity firms in the world.