TORONTO- The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board announced that it has entered into a buyout transaction to assume direct ownership of approximately 870,000 acres of loblolly pine forest across the southern United States. -United.

According to a separate press release issued by MetLife Investment Management (MIM), Teachers’ paid $625 million for the forest land. MIM, the institutional asset management business of MetLife Inc., said it placed long-term first mortgages secured by approximately 832,000 acres of forest land.

The transaction was administered by Tamarack Timberlands LLC, an investment vehicle owned by Ontario Teachers’. The woodlots are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The pension group said forestlands provide “significant diversification benefits to Teachers’, including diversity of locations, customers and tree age classes.”

Teachers’ has invested indirectly in these timber assets since 2006. The recently completed transaction will give Tamarack Timberlands full control and governance of the assets and create greater opportunities to implement long-term value creation initiatives, said the group. Resource Management Service LLC (RMS), one of the world’s largest providers of forestry investment services, will continue to act as forestry investment manager for the asset.

“A responsible, sustainable and long-term approach to forestry has value beyond wood production,” said Christopher Metrakos, Executive Director, Natural Resources, at Ontario Teachers’. “These assets will continue to provide Teachers’ with stable and robust cash returns and long-term capital appreciation, while acting as a natural climate solution to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

With net assets of C$227.7 billion as of June 30, 2021, Teachers’ is the largest single-employer pension plan in Canada. The plan’s board of directors invests in a globally diversified portfolio of assets and administers the pensions of the 331,000 active and retired teachers in the province of Ontario.