PSP Investment Board, NZ Superannuation to buy timber stakes from Harvard

Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Montreal, and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund agreed to purchase stakes of 30% and 1.25%, respectively, in the New Zealand-based Kaingaroa Forest from Harvard Management Co., according to a news release Tuesday from the Auckland-based New Zealand fund.

Details on the price weren’t provided.

Representatives for Boston-based Harvard Management Co., which oversees Harvard University’s $30.7 billion endowment fund, and Montreal-based PSP Investments, which manages C$64.5 billion (US$65.6 billion) in pension assets, couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment.

According to the news release, following the sale, Harvard Management will retain a 28.75% stake in the roughly 687-square-mile Kaingaroa forest estate, located in the center of New Zealand’s North Island.

It’s the second sale by Harvard Management to the New Zealand fund of a stake in Kaingaroa Forest. In October 2006, HMC sold a 40% interest in Kaingaroa to the New Zealand fund for roughly NZ$300 million (US$253 million).

Catherine Etheredge, spokeswoman for New Zealand Superannuation, said in an e-mail that the 40% stake in Kaingaroa is the New Zealand fund’s largest investment, accounting for 4.6% of its overall portfolio as of Oct. 31.

With New Zealand’s overall portfolio valued at NZ$20.2 billion, that would suggest a current value of NZ$929 million for its stake in Kaingaroa Forest, more than triple its purchase price six years ago.

New Zealand Superannuation’s additional 1.25% purchase will bring its stake in the forest to 41.25%.