The Church Commissioners for England, London, have become the largest private commercial forestry investor in the U.K., with a deal to purchase a £49 million ($76.8 million) forestry portfolio.
The £6.1 billion investment fund said in a statement that the new portfolio increases its overall U.K. forestry holdings to about £100 million.
The total forestry portfolio, with assets in the U.K., U.S. and Australia, now accounts for about 4% of the total fund, said Chris West, investment manager at the Church Commissioners for England, in the statement.
The new portfolio is made up of 15 separate forests, 13 in Scotland and two in Wales. It includes two operating wind farms and a mountain biking visitor center in Wales.
“The commissioners are delighted to be adding to their low-carbon investments with this further significant investment in sustainable forestry,” said Edward Mason, head of responsible investment at the Church Commissioners for England, in the statement.
The portfolio was acquired from UPM Tilhill, a U.K. forestry and timber harvesting company. In a news release on UPM's website, the firm said it had sold all of its forestland in the U.K. to the Church Commissioners for England, although the completion of one sale is expected at a later date.
Aitchesse, the appointed U.K. forestry managers for the Church Commissioners for England, advised on the acquisition.
A spokeswoman for the Church Commissioners for England said the purchase was funded with cash.