Sumitomo buys Nelson forests for $370m

Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo has acquired 30,000 hectares of Nelson region pine forests from Hancock Forest Management in New Zealand in a $370 million deal, giving its Richmond timber processing plants long-term security of supply.

Sumitomo owns Nelson Pine Industries (NPI), which produces large export volumes of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) from its sprawling site just outside Richmond.

The purchase was concluded just before Christmas and is still subject to Overseas Investment Office approval, NPI managing director Murray Sturgeon said.

NPI already has 5000ha. The buyout covers the former Baigent forests to the east of Golden Downs, and a smaller area at Hira, east of Nelson city. 

Edited by Panels & Furniture Asia