In a statement, AXA IM said its alternative investing unit AXA IM Alts had acquired the woodland along with an associated forestry management business from forestry investment manager Global Forest Partners.
The group said the transaction represented one of the largest investments into the Australian forestry market by value in more than 10 years.
“The estate is one of the largest in Australia’s premier forestry region, the Australian Green Triangle forestry region, which is located in south-east South Australia and south-west Victoria,” AXA IM said.
“It includes over 22,000 hectares of productive and sustainably managed land comprising a mixed-age portfolio of exclusively Radiata Pine forests which serve as one of the major suppliers of sawlog, and forms an integral part of Australia’s largest domestic processing region.”
AXA IM said the forest’s “significant carbon sequestration characteristics” aligned well with the investment manager’s approach to responsible investment, with an estimated carbon stock of 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide currently stored within the biomass of the forest and opportunities to improve this figure via adjustments to planting and harvesting schedules.
With most of the forest’s harvest currently being used for high-value structural timber for the construction industry, the investment also provided the opportunity to have flow-on effects on sustainability in the housing sector.
“I am very proud of this transaction which adds to our growing global portfolio of forestry assets, now exceeding 80,000 hectares,” AXA IM global head of AXA IM Alts Isabelle Scemama said.
“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.”