Receiver Deloitte expects to announce successful bidder for Forest Enterprises Australia's 46,200 hectares of hardwood timber plantations by month-end; sale is part of bankrupt company's 97,900-hectare estate of freehold land

, May 2, 2014 () – A DECISION on the winner of the auction of the 46,200ha of hardwood timber plantations that are part of bankrupt timber company Forest Enterprises Australia is expected to be made by the end of this month following a review of final bids by Del­oitte and Gresham.

Receiver Deloitte and investment bank Gresham are managing the sale of the estates of Forest Enterprises, which comprise 97,900ha of freehold land in total.

The auction has attracted bidders from outside Australia as well as domestic companies, although the identity of the final bidders has not been publicly disclosed.

Forest Enterprises was placed in administration and receivership in April 2010 owing $215 million in debt, according to Sydney-based timber investment firm New Forests, which agreed last month to pay $330m for bankrupt Tasmanian company Gunns plantations.

Forest Enterprises’ properties are in Tasmania, NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

In a statement last year, Del­oitte said the 46,200ha of hardwood plantations had a weighted-average age of eight years.

A significant number of mature trees offered immediate cashflow, and the estate properties were close to infrastructure and export facilities, the receiver said.

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