Gresham House Forest Fund VI
As at 29 Nov 2023, Gresham House Forest Fund VI is closed to further applications.
To be notified when it next opens, please register your interest below.
Register your interest – Gresham House Forest Fund
Gresham House is the UK’s largest forestry investment manager, with 40+ years’ experience of establishing and managing forestry funds.
It manages around 160,000 hectares of commercial forestry with a combined value of £3.4 billion on behalf of family offices, high net worth individuals and institutions. Its forests harvest approximately 20% of the UK’s annual private sector softwood supply.
The Gresham House Forest Fund VI (the “Fund” or “Master Partnership”) offers the opportunity to invest in a combination of established forests and unplanted land for productive woodland creation across the UK. It seeks to make a positive financial, environmental, and social impact, whilst also providing 100% relief from inheritance tax after two years. Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.
The Gresham House Forest Fund VI is now open to individual investors via a feeder fund, the Gresham House FF Feeder LP (“Feeder Partnership”).
- Targets IRR of 6%, net of all fees and costs, not guaranteed
- Targets annual distributions of 1% of invested capital, indexed to the Consumer Price Index, from 2026, not guaranteed
- Largely tax-free income and tax-free capital growth
- Sould be free of IHT if held for at least two years and on death
- Targeting total funds of £400 million by 2025, with £110 million raised so far
- Minimum subscriptions of £100,000
Investment in UK commercial forestry could provide significant tax benefits under current rules.
- Inheritance tax: 100% IHT relief after two years due to Business Property Relief (“BPR”), provided you still hold the investment on death
- Capital gains tax: no CGT on gain in value of timber. The underlying land is subject to CGT although most of the gain is likely in the value of the timber.
- Income tax: no income tax on timber revenue or the sale of carbon credits
Please remember, tax rules can and do change and benefits depend on circumstances.
Gresham House Plc is an AIM-quoted asset manager with a market capitalisation of over £400 million (September 2023) and £8.3 billion under management (June 2023).
It is the UK’s largest forestry investment manager, managing £3.4 billion of forestry assets in the UK, Europe and Australasia (June 2022) via its wholly owned subsidiary Gresham House Asset Management. Clients include family offices and unlisted funds, as well as high net worth individuals and institutions.
Its forests occupy around 160,000 hectares and harvest approximately 20% of the UK’s annual private sector softwood supply, a position the manager believes gives it a significant advantage in accessing on and off-market transactions and in deploying capital.
The team now consists of around 30 investment professionals, chartered accountants, chartered surveyors, foresters, and administrative staff.
Meet the manager: watch a video interview with Anthony Crosbie Dawson of Gresham House:
The Fund, a Scottish Limited Partnership, was launched in 2022 and is seeking to raise £400 million by early 2025. To date, it has raised £110 million (October 2023).
It aims to make a positive financial, environmental, and social impact, while also providing 100% relief from inheritance tax after two years – not guaranteed.
It offers an opportunity to invest in a combination of established forests and unplanted land for productive woodland creation across the UK.
The Fund will seek to generate returns through the production and sale of timber and capital growth arising from the development and growth of new and existing forests.
1. Maturing and established forests
Established, maturing forests are ultimately expected to account for around 80% of the fund’s assets by area.
The Fund will target high-quality large-scale (c.£2+ million) freehold commercial forests planted with productive conifer species such as Sitka Spruce, the UK’s principal tree species, widely used by the UK’s timber processing industry. This tree species offers the added benefit of a comparatively short rotation length (35 to 50 years, compared to the 70 to 100 years required for Scandinavian timber).
Maturing forests can be harvested to provide working capital (creation of new woodland is capital intensive) and in time pay a modest annual distribution to Limited Partners – not guaranteed.
2. Unplanted land for productive woodland creation
As well as established woodland, the Fund also seeks toto acquire low-grade agricultural land, to which it can add value by transforming it into productive commercial forests. New woodland creation projects carry additional potential upside through the generation of carbon credits in the form of the Woodland Carbon Code’s (“WCC”) accredited Woodland Carbon Units (“WCUs”).
The Fund aims to provide a return predominantly focused on capital growth, with the potential for modest income generation over time.
The target internal rate of return (IRR) is 6%, on a fully invested basis, net of all fees and costs. Returns are not guaranteed.
The target return is based on:
- A return arising from the biological growth of the crop and resulting increase in value of the timber
- An annual real increase in the timber price
- Annual inflation of 2.5%
The Fund targets annual distributions of 1% of capital invested indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), expected to start from 2026. Timings and distributions are not guaranteed; Limited Partners may not get back the capital invested.
New investors via the feeder fund will receive the same investments and investment growth as investors who joined the Partnership at outset. To ensure existing investors are not disadvantaged an Equalisation Contribution and Premium will apply for Subsequent Limited Partners: please see the offer documents for details.
Current portfolio overview
The Fund launched in 2022. To date it has raised £110 million and made £105 million of investments into five forests, two in south Scotland, one in west Scotland, one in Central Scotland and one in south Wales.
The manager is seeking to raise a total of £400 million from Limited Partners by March 2025.
There is no historical performance track record as this is a new fund.
However, Gresham House Asset Management manages four similar discretionary forestry funds. The three that are fully invested have significantly exceeded their return target – their performance since inception is shown below for context. Past performance is not a guide to the future.
Gresham House forest funds performance
|Fund||Inception date||IRR||Target IRR||Current NAV|
|Gresham House Forest Fund I LP (GHFF)||2008||13.8%||7.0%||£400.0m|
|Gresham House Sustainable Timber & Energy LP (GHSTE)||2010||14.1%||7.0%||£393.4m|
|Gresham House Timberland LP (GHT)||2015||10.7%||7.0%||£191.3m|
Source: Gresham House Asset Management. Data is correct as at each respective financial year end (GHFF: November 2022; GHSTE: May 2023; GHT: July 2023). See below for five-year discrete performance of each fund.
The historical returns of UK Forestry are shown below, based on a starting value of £100,000 in 1996. This is calculated using IPD Forestry index performance from December 1996 to December 2017, when the index discontinued. As there is no suitable replacement index, Gresham House, the UK's leading forestry asset manager, has supplied return data for December 2017 to December 2022 based on independent valuations of its managed portfolios..
UK forestry asset class performance per £100,000 invested
Source: Gresham House, IPD. Performance data is shown to 31 December 2022. Please remember, returns are not guaranteed and past performance is not a guide to the future. Returns for UK forestry have been calculated using the IPD forestry index from December 1995 to its discontinuation in December 2017. There is no suitable replacement index. Gresham House, as the leading forestry asset manager, has supplied return data for 2017 to 2022 based on independent valuations of its managed portfolios. The forestry performance is shown gross of fees.
Access to your investment
Forestry is a very long-term and illiquid investment.
The term of the fund is 15 years from the final closing date, with extensions of up to three-five years, subject to consent from Limited Partners representing 50% of Commitments in the Master Partnership. The deadline for the next close is expected to be on or around 29 November 2023. It is expected the fund will continue to raise funds through 2023, 2024, and 2025, with a Final Close no later than 24 March 2025.
To provide a degree of liquidity before the set termination dates, where required Gresham House may look to arrange share sales by matching sellers with buyers. There is a charge of 2.5% + VAT for both parties. For more details see the Information Memorandum.
Secondary sales in Gresham House’s forestry partnerships from 2019-2022 had a weighted average transaction time of 36 days, with a weighted average price premium to NAV of 12.5%. Past performance is not a guide to the future.
Risks – important
This is a very long-term and illiquid investment, only available to Wealth Club clients who have successfully completed an Elective Professional Client Application. It is an unregulated collective investment scheme. Capital is at risk. Returns are not guaranteed.
Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks.
Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances. Eligibility for BPR is assessed at the date of death. It is expected that once a Limited Partnership Interest has been held for two years and the Partnership’s business has been conducting a qualifying business for at least two years, the value of the Limited Partnership Interest should qualify for 100% relief from IHT.
A summary of the main charges and savings is shown below. The investment may have additional charges and expenses: please see the provider documents for more details.
|Full initial charge||2%|
|Wealth Club initial saving||—|
|Net initial charge through Wealth Club||2%||Annual management charge||0.75%|
More detail on the charges
Forestry has been an attractive real asset to own over the last decade, as demand for timber has grown significantly.
Whether it’s wood pellets used in power biomass energy generation, cardboard to support the surge in ecommerce activity and replace plastic packaging, or construction timber to build new homes more sustainably, the drivers of demand seem set to continue, although this is not guaranteed.
The UK Forest Market Report 2022 highlighted strong demand for timber products. Younger forests have also seen strong demand from investors, suggesting growing investor confidence in the longer-term supply/demand dynamics for timber.
For private investors, UK commercial forestry is also highly tax efficient. Income from the sale of timber, as well as any increase in its value, is tax free. Moreover, after two years, forestry investments can benefit from IHT relief – remember tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.
While returns clearly depend on the price of timber, there are relatively few investment risks associated with the biological growth and harvesting of forests. The ability to delay timber harvesting allows the manager more control than in other agricultural or renewable assets – potentially timing harvests to maximise value.
Investors should note this is a long-term and highly illiquid investment with no annual income planned for over five years, income is variable and not guaranteed.
See five-year performance of Gresham House Forest funds mentioned above
How to invest
The fund is currently closed to new applications, but please register your interest to be notified when it next opens.
Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – investments. You should base your investment decision on the offer documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. The information on this webpage is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy any of the investments mentioned, nor does it include any opinion as to the present or future value or price of these investments. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.
- Forestry fund
- Target raise
- c.£400 million across three years
- Raised so far
- £110 million
- Minimum investment
- Target IRR