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Stafford Capital closes FoF focused on timberland – update

The firm has already committed 21% of Stafford International Timberland VII’s $484 million and plans to open an office in Latin America in the third quarter.

This story was updated to add comments from the firm.

Stafford Capital Partners has held a final closing on Stafford International Timberland VII, its fund of funds focused on existing timberland funds, with $484 million, exceeding its target of $400 million.

The new fund, SIT VII, has already made two secondary investments in addition to several other co-investments and primary commitments, according to a press release announcing the close. Stafford has committed almost 21 percent of the fund so far.

“Supply is substantial and pricing is more reasonable than after the financial crisis,” Tom Goodrich, a partner with the firm, said about the current environment for secondaries investments in timberland funds. “We’re seeing a lot of deals.”

Investors in SIT VII are mainly institutions such pension funds from the UK, Europe and Australia while about 60 percent of the fund came from existing investors. The Essex Pension Fund in the UK committed £41 million ($63 million, €58 million) to the fund, according to board minutes from September 2013. The fund held a first close in December 2013.

“To assist in the investment of this latest fund, we have increased our investment team with the addition of two investment managers and a further analyst to support the finance function, as well as plans to open an office in Latin American in the third quarter of this year,” Angus Whiteley, Stafford’s chief executive officer, said in a press release.

Stafford, which provides investment management and advisory services in alternative assets, has $4.5 billion under management. It has investment teams specialised in agriculture, infrastructure, private equity, sustainable capital, timber and venture capital.

In June 2014, Stafford acquired the speciality infrastructure secondaries, sustainable capital and venture capital fund of funds management business from Macquarie Investment Services and Macquarie Investment Management, which at the time totalled about $700 million of assets transferred.

Stafford has offices in the US, the UK, Australia and Switzerland.