New Forests acquires Bell Bay and Tarpeena softwood sawmills
New Forests has completed the purchase of the assets of Gunns Timber Products from the receiver, KordaMentha. The transaction includes the softwood sawmills in Bell Bay, Tasmania and Tarpeena, South Australia and sales and distribution facilities in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
The acquisition will be made by the New Forests Australia New Zealand Forest Fund (ANZFF).
The business will be rebranded as Timberlink Australia, with Ian Tyson appointed as chief executive officer. Tyson brings over 35 years of experience in timber processing, wood products marketing, and timber sales in Australia. Operations will continue on a business as usual basis, with 380 employees transitioning to Timberlink Australia.
Tyson says: “The launch of Timberlink Australia is an exciting time for our employees and our customers. Together, we look forward to growing the business as a leading supplier of Australian-grown plantation pine timber products.”
Mark Korda says: “This is an outstanding result for all stakeholders. The suppliers, customers, and importantly employees have continued to work with the business throughout the receivership, and we are proud to hand over a thriving business to New Forests. The future of the mills and the local communities is now linked to a group with a long-term interest in the Australian timber industry.”
New Forests manages approximately 375,000 hectares of plantations and timberland across Australia, including the softwood timber plantations in Tasmania and the Green Triangle of Victoria and South Australia, which provide the core wood supply to each mill. The establishment of Timberlink Australia creates an opportunity to integrate management of timberland, mills, and sales and distribution functions into a fully aligned customer focused business.
New Forests’ managing director David Brand says: “As a regionally-focused timberland investment manager, New Forests believes that a competitive, domestic wood processing industry is critical to ensuring a sustainable future for Australia’s forest sector. Timberlink Australia will strengthen local supply chains by connecting Australian-grown plantation timber with domestic customers seeking high-quality and environmentally responsible building materials.”