01/10/2009 - 15:47

Gunns in bid for Great Southern assets

01/10/2009 - 15:47

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Timber company Gunns has put itself into the bidder's circle for Great Southern's assets, a day after it lost its bid for Timbercorp's forestry assets to a US-based company.

Timber company Gunns has put itself into the bidder's circle for Great Southern's assets, a day after it lost its bid for Timbercorp's forestry assets to a US-based company.

In a brief statement to the local stock exchange, the receivers said the Launceston-based company is currently developing a proposal for growers to become the responsible entity of certain forestry managed investment schemes.

Guns currently has 15 MIS in wood, wine grapes and walnuts with about $620 million of funds under management. The company manages more than 300,000 hectares of forestry assets including 104,840ha of forestry MIS projects.

It has been widely expected that receivers McGrathNicol will soon announce the winning bidder for Great Southern's assets, with emergency funding from a consortium of banks - including Commonwealth Bank and ANZ - running out yesterday.

The banks are currently owed $600 million.

Last month, McGrathNicol called for expressions of interest for the collapsed company's assets.

Other bidders include the Gordon Martin-based Pulpwood Plantations, and Bunning family and Azure Capital-backed Black Tree Propriety, which are both vying for the forestry assets.

Gunns' entry into the bidding process comes as Great Southern directors David Griffiths, John Young, Alice McCleary, Peter Mansell and Mervyn Peacock resign from the company.

Yesterday, Gunns lost to Global Forest Partners, a US company that was awarded Timbercorp's forestry assets in a deal valued at $345 million.

GFP is an international plantation forestry investment manager responsible for global plantation assets worth more than $2.5 billion.

Timbercorp liquidator Mark Korda of KordaMentha said the successful bid includes up to $198 million for investor growers who invested in the Timbercorp forestry MIS.

About 10,000 people invested $800 million in Timbercorp's forestry schemes before debt-laden Timbercorp went into administration in April.

The assets under the sale agreement include 92,000 hectares of plantations, 39,000 hectares of freehold land, leasehold rights to 53,000 hectares, and business infrastructure.

The plantations are in Western Australia and the Green Triangle region bridging Victoria and South Australia.

Mr Korda said the forestry assets would be sold as a going concern and would trade under the name Australian Bluegum Plantations Pty Ltd.

Funds managed by GFP already own 40,000 hectares of pine plantations in southern NSW and the Green Triangle region.

 

 

The Gunns announcement is below:

 

Gunns Limited ("Gunns") advises that it has entered discussions with the Receivers of Great Southern Managers Australia Limited (Administrators Appointed) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) ("GSMAL") and is currently developing a proposal for consideration by growers to replace GSMAL as responsible entity of certain forestry managed investment schemes.

Gunns is Australia's largest fully integrated hardwood-based forest products company. Gunns has established 15 managed investment schemes in wood, wine grapes and walnuts with approximately $620 million of funds under management and currently manages over 300,000 hectares of forestry assets (including 104,840 hectares of forestry MIS projects).

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options