Forestry investors in line for sale windfall

Thousands of small-time forestry investors across the country are set to receive a summer bonanza after the largest private forestry sale in Irish history.

Irish forestry fund management company Veon has agreed the sale of a portfolio of 18 funds – equating to about 10,000 acres of private forestry – to a global institutional buyer following a competitive process, the Sunday Independent understands.

Veon is one of the largest players in forestry funds in Ireland and manages over 34,500 acres of forestry.

The long-term forestry funds sold by Veon involve 12,400 investors in Ireland who on average have invested about €3,500, meaning a total investment of more than €40m.

The sale will see investors receive substantial returns on those original investments, it is understood.

It is likely that cheques will be posted to thousands of Veon investors by the end of July, it is understood.

A number of shareholders are believed to have already received letters advising them of the sale process.

The strength of the offer by the institutional investor was described as “very compelling”, not least because of various threats to Ireland’s forestry industry.

Up to 70pc of Ireland’s timber is exported to Britain and Brexit is seen as a major threat to the industry.

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