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Westbury Capital Partners to launch first timber fund

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Westbury Capital Partners, an alternative assets multi-fund manager, has announced plans to launch its first dedicated timber fund, the Trilogy Green Forest Fund, which will offer inves

Westbury Capital Partners, an alternative assets multi-fund manager, has announced plans to launch its first dedicated timber fund, the Trilogy Green Forest Fund, which will offer investors access to forestry real estate initially in the south-eastern US.

The Cayman domiciled, open-ended fund, which will launch in January and have its first closing in March, has already committed assets of more than USD200m.

It will be aimed primarily at institutional investors and private banks globally and has a pre-identified pipeline in excess of USD1bn.

The fund will seek to generate annualised returns of at least ten per cent.

It will not be leveraged at launch nor will the managers seek to leverage the fund at any time during its life. Because of this investors will not find themselves in a secondary position due to deleveraging nor will they be subject to dilution through future capital raising to reduce debt.

Westbury has partnered with Trilogy Green Forest Partners, which will professionally manage the land and forestry assets.

Trilogy has over 30 years of experience of investment in and management of hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland assets across the south-eastern US, including property identification, analysis and acquisition, maximising the returns of holdings and the disposal of appreciative higher value assets, as well as advising on the tactical allocation to timberland assets within client portfolios.

Fund timberland assets have many sources of return: non-land based (timber growth, timber products, biomass, carbon sequestration, environmental conservation), land based (higher and better use land, recreation, alternative energy sites, environmental conservation) and underground (natural resources and carbon sequestration).

However at all times the key portfolio management driver will be sustainability to ensure that investment return generation is balanced with environmental considerations.

The fund will offer investors a liquid, open-ended investment vehicle with annual redemptions and subscriptions subject to one year’s notice period. Intended fees will be two per cent management and 20 per cent performance after hurdle.

Simon Hookway, director of Westbury Capital Partners, says: ‘Opportunities to diversify away from traditional sources of return are at a premium at this point and the Trilogy Green Forest Fund offers a unique opportunity to not only contribute to a well balanced portfolio but also to help socially conscious investors meet their ‘corporate responsibility’ ambitions whilst capitalising on assets that are hard to access’.

John Barnett, chief executive of Trilogy Green Forest Partners, adds: ‘Trilogy Green Forest Fund’s principals know trees have always been a green, ever-renewable natural resource with quantitative societal benefits such as carbon sequestration, wetlands mitigation and protection of endangered species to name just a few. Strategically, the south-eastern US is North America’s ‘wood basket’, and because of our climate and infrastructure, the southeast as a sun belt is a magnet for population migration and growth. We foresee an expanding recreational land-buyer market and our principles excel in the procurement of timbered land in-the-path-of-growth.’

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