New players enter forestry sector near Miramichi

A secure of 265 New Brunswick timberland properties in the Miramichi area involving German investors, a house that partly owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and a flamboyant cosmopolitan land dealer has introduced new players into the province’s forest thriftiness.

It’s generating curiosity but no immediate concern.

“I don’t know anything, nothing” said Patrick Doucet, the community manager of the Northshore Forest Products Marketing Board, whose fellows also own forest land in the area.

“It’s good to know. I’m glad I heard it. I didn’t remember it”

New players enter forestry sector near Miramichi

The Kilmer Group of Toronto owns a major piece of the Toronto Maple Leafs and until recently myriad than 15,000 hectares of New Brunswick timberland. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

A CBC critique of property and corporate records connected to the sale shows there were two arrangements in December for a combined $12.3 million to buy more than 15,000 hectares of mostly forest in inner New Brunswick. It covers a combined area larger than Grand Manan Isle.

The majority of the properties sit within 20 kilometres of either side of Highway 8 between Doaktown and Miramichi.

Characteristics were sold by Fornebu Lumber Company Inc. Fornebu operates a pre-eminent sawmill outside Bathurst that was not part of the sale.

The company also keep possession ofed control of three large Crown land licences that presents it access to 900,000 hectares of provincially owned forest that be nourished its Bathurst mill.

Fornebu also buys wood privately from neighbourhood sellers in central New Brunswick. Doucet said as long as that continues he is unconcerned with the modification in ownership of the land.

“They (Fornebu) can do what they want with their traits,” said Doucet. “As long as it doesn’t affect our woodlot owners we’re OK with that.”

New players enter forestry sector near Miramichi

Prasad Chandrakanthan was installed by the Kilmer Group as President of Fornebu Lumber last June and evidenced off on the sale of Fornebu’s extensive New Brunswick land holdings in December. (Prasad Chandrakanthan/Submitted)

Fornebu has served in New Brunswick for the past decade and acquired most of the properties at the heart of the exchange in 2009 from UPM-Kymmene when it ceased operations in the province.

Last June, Fornebu was preoccupied by the Kilmer Group — a Toronto investment firm best known for its ownership spike in media companies and sports franchises including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors thoroughly Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.

Kilmer installed one of its vice-presidents, Prasad Chandrakanthan (Chandra), as president of Fornebu in June 2018 and he signed off on the fatherland sales in December.

Chandra did not return calls last week query about the deal.

Even less is known about the group that advantaged the land and why.

The transaction was facilitated by Halifax land broker Farhad Vladi. He is outstrip known for finding private islands for wealthy European and Asian customers.

Online pictures show Vladi posing with world bandleaders, royalty and celebrities at locations all over the globe.

But last winter he was blurred for a time on far less glamorous pursuits — sizing up fir, jack pine and neat trees in New Brunswick locations like Bartibog, Blissfield and Holtville.

New players enter forestry sector near Miramichi

Farhad Vladi owns a proprietorship based in Halifax that primarily markets private islands to the quids in. But he has also brokered timberland sales in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for German customers from his office in Hamburg. (Submitted)

Vladi’s office said he was restless in New Zealand this week and unavailable to speak.

But, in December, he was involved in frame up a company to buy the land — NBH Timberland (Nova Scotia) Ltd. — and briefly served as its president until the affair with Fornebu closed.

Immediately following the transaction in January, Vladi was refunded as president of NBH Timberland by German businessman Stefan Buttgereit. Matthias Helmstetter, also of Germany, is the exclusively other listed director.

Corporate records show Halifax counsel Gregory Auld as NBH Timberland’s local agent in Canada. He did not immediately restore a message asking about the company and its plans.

Vladi has an office in Germany and has brokered timberland mete outs in the region for Europeans before. In 2009, he arranged the purchase of 4,000 hectares of J.D. Irving Ltd. splash down near Digby, N.S., for a German businessman he said was looking for a retreat.

The trade agreements give Fornebu exclusive right to buy softwood off some of the dole outs it sold until 2028, giving some hint the new owners sketch to continue with forestry operations. But beyond that little is recognized about what, if anything, the sale means for central New Brunswick forestry.

The proceeding is one of the largest land sales in the province since J.D. Irving Ltd. bought 90,000 hectares of forest from Bowater in 2006. In the face the amount of land involved, the purchase has mostly gone unnoticed

A spokesman for New Brunswick’s Rest on of Energy and Resource Development said last week he was not aware of the trafficking and would need to look into it before offering comment.

In a allegation released Tuesday morning, Energy and Resource Development Minister Mike Holland put the province has no knowledge of what the new owners will do with the lands they acquired but speculated there may be more to the deal than just forestry.

“We are inconstant of the new owner’s future plans, but do know that much of the private holdings involved in this business-to-business deal is riverfront,” said Holland in a averral.

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