Hamburg hedge fund Aquila buys Scots forests

Hamburg-based hedge fund Aquila Capital has bought 3,100 hectares of forest — about 12 square miles — in three locations in Scotland for its institutional investors.

Aquila would not disclose which forests were being bought, the identity of the sellers, or the price involved.

Timber has developed into an attractive asset class for institutional investors.

Aquila said this is its first investment in the Scottish timber market and that the forests being acquired are a mix of sitka spruce, lodgepole pine and other fast-growing coniferous tree species.

The forests being bought will be managed by Tilhill Forestry, a prominent UK forestry and harvesting company.

Tilhill Forestry is a subsidiary of BSW Timber Ltd., which operates throughout the UK and has a turnover of more than of £100 million.

Aquila said Scotland is an attractive market due to a long-term shortage of timber.

“The forests acquired by Aquila Capital have excellent internal and external transport links, providing easy access to market while being mature and largely ready for harvesting, offering an immediate and continuous cash return,” said the hedge fund.

“This investment is an ideal addition to our existing timber portfolio,” said Nils von Schmidt, fund manager, timber, at Aquila Group.

“It provides institutional investors with access to professionally-managed forests that have established timber production and continuous cash flows while fully complying with strict ethical and sustainability criteria.”

Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO and Co-Founder of Aquila Group, said: “The acquisition in Scotland adds significantly to our existing timber investments in Australia, South America and several European countries, expanding Aquila Capital’s footprint in the forestry sector.”

Aquila Capital is part of the owner-managed Aquila Group, which employs more than 200 staff at eight locations in Europe and Asia Pacific and manages assets of more than 8 billion euros for a global investor base.