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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) on its acquisition of a 22.5% shareholding in forestry investment manager New Forests Pty Limited (New Forests).

Mitsui is one of the world’s most diversified trading, investment and services enterprises and manages a diverse portfolio of businesses, ranging from product sales, logistics and financing to the development of major international infrastructure.

New Forests is an investment manager specializing in sustainable forestry and land management in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the United States. Founded in 2005, New Forests has assets under management of A$2.8 billion (approximately ¥240 billion) including more than 600,000 hectares of timber plantations, rural land, and conservation investments globally. New Forests is one of the ten largest forestry investment managers in the world and the largest focused on the growing timber markets and plantation sectors of the Asia-Pacific region.

The acquisition is part of Mitsui’s strategy to diversify its investment in forestry to meet the world’s growing demand for sustainably produced timber from well managed forest resources. The acquisition also opens up additional investment opportunities for Mitsui in forestry assets and funds. Further, Mitsui will contribute to New Forests’ investment strategies and support New Forests’ mission to make sustainable and responsible investments.

Mitsui will also use its investment expertise to support the growth of New Forests and assist New Forests in entering the institutional investment market in Japan.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Corporate partners Ian Williams and Simon Haddy, who were supported by senior associate Melissa Swain and solicitors Lily Zhang and Will Barker.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Ian Williams said, ‘We were pleased to have assisted Mitsui in this acquisition in a new business area for Mitsui, which reflects a continuation of Mitsui’s long-term engagement in the forest sector’.

Key contacts

Ian Williams photo

Ian Williams

Senior Adviser, Sydney

Ian Williams