Ingka Group, which owns retail giant Ikea, has purchased 5500 hectares of Otago, New Zealand farmland that it plans to plant into forest. In August, the Overseas Investment Office approved the purchase of Wisp Hill buy the Ingka Group. A lease-back requirement will allow the former owners to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period.
The company said it planned to plant 3300 hectares with radiata pine this year, with the long-term plan of planting 3000 hectares with over 3 million seedlings in the next five years. Some 2200 hectares would be left to naturally revert into native bush.
Managing Director of Ingka Investments, Krister Mattsson said, responsible forest management created jobs and added value in local communities by supporting the local economy. Mattson added, “We are delighted to expand our forestry portfolio into a new country and this investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to New Zealand.”
Ingka Group currently owns around 248,000 hectares of forest in the US, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania.
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Ikea owner buys 5500ha of Otago farmland for forestry