Hogan Lovells advises FMO on its co-investment into Merensky Timber
Johannesburg, 10 May 2023 - Hogan Lovells has advised Dutch development bank, FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.), on its co-investment with Africa Forestry Fund II, a forestry fund managed by Criterion Africa Partners, into Merensky Timber. The co-investment closed on 14 April 2023.
Merensky Timber is one of the largest private plantation owners in Africa with a base of 65,000 hectares of pine and eucalyptus plantations and associated manufacturing assets in South Africa. Merensky Timber is recognized as the pioneer of high value eucalyptus solid-wood logs and lumber, with a history of tree breeding and genetic improvement spanning more than half a century. Merensky supplies a range of FSC-certified forest products to meet the demand of African and global markets.
The investment is expected to enable Merensky Timber to capitalize on a range of growth opportunities in forestry, biomass energy, downstream processing, and nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.
The Hogan Lovells team was led by Chris Green, Office Managing Partner, with support from senior associate Simone Izzard and candidate attorneys Jean Nel and Christina Mlambo.
Commenting on the investment, Chris said: “We are very pleased to have been involved in this matter, working closely with the excellent team at FMO. The transaction and the outcomes that it will help to facilitate at Merensky Timber are very much aligned with Hogan Lovells’ stated objective of playing a leadership role in driving inclusive and sustainable growth. We would like to congratulate all parties involved in this transaction.”