Alternative asset manager Aquila Capital has unveiled its first investment in Scottish timberland.
The firm has acquired 3,100 hectares of forest – consisting of a mix of sitka spruce, lodgepole pine and other fast-growing coniferous species – for institutional investors.
Spanning three locations, the forests – equivalent in size to about 4,300 football pitches – will be managed by Stirling-based Tilhill Forestry, the UK’s largest forest management and timber harvesting company, which was last year acquired by Berwickshire sawmill operator BSW Timber.
Aquila said that Scotland represents an “attractive market” due to a long-term shortage of timber, as the country imports 75 per cent of its requirements.
Nils von Schmidt, timber fund manager at Aquila Group, said: “This investment is an ideal addition to our existing timber portfolio. It provides institutional investors with access to professionally-managed forests that have established timber production and continuous cash flows while fully complying with strict ethical and sustainability criteria.”
Aquila Group manages more than €8 billion (£6bn) of assets for global investors. Chief executive and co-founder Roman Rosslenbroich said: “The acquisition in Scotland adds significantly to our existing timber investments in Australia, South America and several European countries, expanding Aquila Capital’s footprint in the forestry sector.”