Anew and OHA-Led Investor Consortium Acquire 1.7 Million Acre Timberland Portfolio to Expand Improved Forestry Management for Climate Action
Represents one of the largest private forest carbon investments in the United States and provides opportunity to sequester hundreds of millions of tonnes of atmospheric CO2 over the next century through sustainable management for biodiversity and tree growth.
HOUSTON, November 2, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Anew Climate, LLC ("Anew") announced today the acquisition of entities managed by The Forestland Group ("TFG"), which includes a 1.7-million-acre timberland portfolio. The acquisition was completed by Blue Source Sustainable Forests Company ("BSFC"), a joint venture with Oak Hill Advisors, L.P. ("OHA") focused on forest acquisitions and sustainable forest management. BSFC has also entered into definitive agreements to acquire additional TFG-managed entities holding an additional 200,000 timberland acres. The transactions are valued at approximately $1.8 billion, representing one of the largest private conservation-focused forest investments in U.S. history.
At a time when 4.2 million acres of U.S. forest cover continues to be lost annually from industrial logging practices,1 Anew is transitioning the newly acquired lands into sustainably managed forestland for climate mitigation. With 110,000 acres previously purchased for carbon sequestration in New York, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, BSFC's portfolio will exceed 1.9 million acres upon completion of all TFG-related acquisitions, making it the seventh largest private forestland owner in the United States.2 This acquisition also expands the nature-based and agricultural portion of Anew's carbon development portfolio, which includes numerous private, indigenous, and public lands, to over 5.6 million acres primarily in North America.
"Forests, sustainably managed, are and will be a major climate mitigation tool with substantial benefits to local ecosystems and communities," stated Bill Townsend, Chief Strategy Officer, Anew. "Change at this scale requires equal dedication from buyers seeking the highest quality carbon credits. With the help of several significant global investment firms, led by OHA, and the shared commitment to the climate by carbon market participants, environmental finance has made a significant stride in furthering climate action through nature-based solutions," Townsend said.
BSFC is the first of the industry's ten largest forestland owners to commit to prioritizing climate mitigation practices. BSFC management will maintain the lands as working forestlands under carbon development requirements which are the strictest in the industry, exceeding that of FSC certification. Selective harvest, significantly below annual tree growth levels, will prioritize the restoration of native biodiversity, bolster the forests' natural defenses against disasters such as fire or disease, and produce high-value timber products. Conservative calculations, based upon decades of expertise and Registry-approved carbon quantification methodologies, estimate that the acquired properties have the capacity to absorb hundreds of million tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next century through tree growth resulting from improved management.
"BSFC's ownership of these properties will bring the highest degree of care and focus on creating real, additional, and measurable environmental benefit for decades to come," stated Jamie Houston, Chief Executive Officer, BSFC. "We are thrilled to shift the management strategy to a model that enables the trees to be valued for their carbon permanence and global ecological benefit. We are creating older, more resilient, more biodiverse forests with long-lasting benefits to plants, wildlife, and communities."
Communities near BSFC forestlands are expected to see increased sustainable forestry job opportunities as well as quality of life and public health benefits through recreation and ecological restoration, preservation, and resilience. The newly acquired lands include 4,528 miles (about 7287 km) of rivers and streams, which will directly benefit from improvements in forest health and contribute to healthier habitats within the watersheds, as well as downstream. Additionally, in honor of TFG's Founder Chris Zinkhan, BSFC is forming the TFG Foundation with a $4 million initial contribution to create sustainable forestry education opportunities to increase pathways into the growing green economy.
Prior to the advent of environmental finance, pathways for long-term forest conservation were limited and not available at the scale required for substantive climate change mitigation. The climate benefit from the sustainable management of these forests will be realized in full through multi-decade carbon credit generation and sale to organizations investing in offsets, insets, and carbon reduction practices to meet sustainability and net zero goals.
"OHA is pleased to lead this landmark conservation transaction along with support from a global consortium of like-minded investors with a shared commitment to climate solutions," said Adam Kertzner, Senior Partner of OHA. "We believe this acquisition will be transformational, enabling BSFC to fulfill its mission to be a leader in sustainable forestry, a scale partner for market participants seeking the highest-quality forest carbon credits and to produce measurable outcomes for the climate."
1World Resources Institute, Global Forest Watch - United States Dashboard. Annual Tree Cover Loss by Dominant Driver.
2 Forisk 2022 North American Timberland Owner and Manager List
Anew Climate, LLC ("Anew") is accelerating the fight against climate change by enabling companies and organizations to align their goals for conservation and impact with actionable next steps. With a comprehensive solutions portfolio that includes advisory services, carbon credits, renewable natural gas, renewable energy credits, EV credits, plastic credits, and emission reduction credits, we lower barriers to participation in environmental markets for clients across the private and public sectors. As a leading marketer and originator of environmental products, we bring together strategic finance, regulatory expertise, scientific knowledge, and impact focus to make it possible for businesses to thrive while building a sustainable future. Anew is majority owned by TPG Rise, TPG's global impact investing platform, and emerged from the February 2022 combination of durational industry leaders Element Markets, LLC and Blue Source, LLC. The company has offices in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and an environmental commodities portfolio that extends across five continents.
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For further information about Anew, please visit: www.anewclimate.com
About Oak Hill Advisors
OHA is a leading alternative investment firm with $57 billion of capital under management across its private, distressed, special situations, liquid, structured credit and real asset strategies. OHA has generated attractive risk-adjusted returns over its more than 30-year history by specializing in performing and distressed credit-related investments in North America, Europe, and other geographies. OHA employs more than 350 people globally and is headquartered in New York, with primary offices in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and Fort Worth. Oak Hill Advisors is a subsidiary of T. Rowe Price.
For further information about OHA, please visit oakhilladvisors.com.
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Kirkland & Ellis and Eversheds Sutherland served as counsel to Anew and BSFC. Paul Hastings served as counsel to Oak Hill Advisors. Womble Bond Dickinson served as counsel to TFG.
Source: Anew Climate, LLC