AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (“AXA Real Estate”), the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe (1)has completed the acquisition of three forest estates in Finland, covering 3,700 hectares in total, for a consideration of 11,2 million EUR with UPM, one of the leading forest industry companies in Europe and a major forest owner in Finland. AXA Real Estate has undertaken the acquisition on behalf of AXA Insurance Company.
The transaction is AXA Real Estate’s first forest acquisition, on behalf of its clients, outside of France and marks the beginning of its strategy to diversify its portfolio in geographies where forestry-related industries account for a significant proportion of GDP. The acquisition brings AXA Real Estate’s total forestry assets under management to 100 million EUR, comprising over 17,600 hectares in total. UPM will continue to provide forest management and timber harvesting services to ensure sustainable management of these forests.
Christophe Lebrun, Head of Forest Investment at AXA Real Estate, commented: “Investor appetite for alternative asset classes has seen a marked increase in recent years while demand remains for strong and sustainable returns. As a sector, forestry is underpinned by robust economic fundamentals and, through being one of the first movers in to this sector within Europe, AXA Real Estate is in a prime position to capitalise on the strong market sentiment and attractive returns. Furthermore, as a real asset, forestry is a safe haven investment and such stability gives it resilience to crisis.
“We are pleased to have concluded this sale and the related service agreement with AXA Real Estate. I am convinced that AXA Real Estate’s professional asset management and UPM’s forestry expertise together will benefit both parties,” states Sauli Brander, Senior Vice President, UPM Wood Sourcing and Forestry.
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Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 20,000 people and its annual sales are approximately EUR 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com
UPM owns 765,000 hectares of forestry land in Finland. These areas as well as over million hectares of forests owned by private forest owners are managed by UPM forest professionals according to the principles of sustainable forestry.
During past years UPM has regularly sold its forest assets as part of developing its real estate portfolio. To read more about the forest estates in sale visit www.bonvesta.fi
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (AXA Real Estate), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AXA Investment Managers, is the largest real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe(1), with over 54 billion EUR of assets under management as at the end of December 2014. It has over 160 third party institutional clients spread across the world, in addition to managing funds for 10 AXA insurance companies.
With over 500 real estate professionals operating in 23 countries, AXA Real Estate’s competitive advantage stems from its global fund management expertise combined with extensive on-the-ground deal sourcing, asset management and development execution capabilities.
AXA Real Estate structures and actively manages or advises investment products, seeking wide ranging opportunities along the risk spectrum to deliver targeted returns commensurate with clients’ risk profiles, through a variety of investment strategies. These range from core to value-add and opportunistic, country-specific to geographically-diversified, sector-specific to multi-sector, with the capacity to invest at all levels of the capital structure.
Global growth remains a key priority and AXA Real Estate has expanded its presence in both the U.S. and Asia. Assets under management have grown from 17 billion EUR 15 years ago to over 54 billion EUR today. www.axa-realestate.com
AXA Investment Managers
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is a multi-expert asset management company within the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA IM is one of the largest European-based asset managers with approximately 582 billion EUR in assets under management as of the end of June 2014. AXA IM employs over 2,400 people around the world and operates out of 26 offices in 21 countries. www.axa-im.com
(1)Source: INREV Survey 2013 published in May 2014