Clayton Utz has acted for investment management firm New Forests on the largest private forestry estate transaction, by area, in Australian history.
Clayton Utz Sydney real estate partner Peter McMahon and corporate partner Matt Anderson led the firm's team which advised New Forests in relation to the acquisition of the timberland assets of Great Southern Plantations for a total purchase price of $415 million.
The assets comprise 650 properties and 1200 titles and include over 2,500 square kilometres in prime forestry and agricultural regions across six states.
McMahon said the complex and multi-jurisdictional nature of the transaction required a firm wide response which included Clayton Utz's Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane offices.
"Each property represented a different set of issues, requiring close scrutiny and consideration. We were able to draw upon a broad range of skills of lawyers from across our offices to achieve a successful commercial outcome for New Forests," he said.
Commenting on what the deal signalled for the forestry industry more generally, Anderson said: "This transaction reflects the international interest in Australian forestry products and the market opportunities available to investors. I suspect we will continue to see an increased demand for Australian forestry products in 2011."