Investments in Romania’s forestry

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In spite of the economic crisis, Holzindustrie Schweighofer or the Porsche family are not the only ones to invest in Romania’s forestry. Due to falling property prices, investments are even stronger than in 2008. The latest example is the Finnish forestry specialist Tornator OY. With the opening of their subsidiary in Brasov - Tornator SRL in 2008, the Fins have already invested 40 million euros in 12,000 hectares of forestland. Altogether Tornator had purchased forests in Finland, Estonia and Romania for 52.5 million euros in 2008. Zoltan Kosy, country manager of Tornator SRL, announced to the Romanian media a trippling of the investments. Tornator’s plan is to acquire a total of 100,000 hectares of forestland in Romania, of which 10,000-20,000 hectares should be bought in the 2009-2010 period.

Tornator, the third largest forest owner in Finland, achieved a turnover of 76.8 million euros in 2008. Sixty-five million euros were accumulated from the timber harvesting (2 million cubic meters of harvested timber) and some 11 million euros were generated from the sales of holiday home plots. In Finland the company profited from the higher demand for domestic logs. Tornator owns 600,000 hectares of forestland in Finland (595,000 hectares) and Estonia (4,000 ha). The present Tornator was formed when Stora Enso Oyj converted its forestry business into a company in July 2002. With 41% of the share capital, Stora Enso remains its main shareholder apart from insurance and pension funds.

Besides Tornator, the new buyers of forests in Romania also include Holzindustrie Schweighofer, Harvard Management Company (30,000 hectares), a group of Swedish investors (4,000 hectares) and the Porsche family (8,000 hectares). Schweighofer, through its real estate division Cascade Empire, purchased a total of 8,000 hectares of forestland in Harghita, Covasna, Hunedoara, Arges and Suceava with a value of 20 million euros.
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