Stafford collects $532m for ninth timberland fund en route to final close

SIT IX, which acquires secondaries positions in existing timberland funds and co-investments. has already deployed $168m across five investments.

Stafford Capital Partners has held an interim close on its ninth timberland fund of funds.

The London-headquartered firm has collected $532 million for Stafford Timberland International Fund IX, per a statement. The fund has been in market since August and has a $700 million target, according to Secondaries Investor data.

SIT IX has already deployed $168 million across five investments, partner Stephen Addicott said. Stafford’s timberland vehicles acquire secondaries positions in existing timberland funds and co-investments.

“We are very appreciative of the support from existing and new investors who recognise the resilience of the asset class and Stafford’s unique approach of gaining discounted access to timberland assets,” Addicott added.

In an interview with sister publication Agri Investor, Addicott said: “Timberland values are holding quite steady, so some people have decided to sell and pursue opportunities in other markets.” This has created several acquisition opportunities for the firm, he added.

Stafford’s previous timberland vehicle, the $612 million 2016-vintage SIT VIII, won a hostile takeover of the UK-listed Phaunos Timber Fund in 2018.

The firm has $2.6 billion invested in over 190 timberland assets globally and has dedicated investment professionals in the US, Australia, Brazil and the UK.

Stafford bolstered its European secondaries footprint last month by acquiring the private equity investment team of Dutch asset manager Robeco. The move grew Stafford’s private equity assets under management by $1.5 billion to $3.1 billion.

Founded in 2000, the firm has $6.8 billion of assets under management and more than 70 executives across offices including Boston, Seoul and Rotterdam.

– Binyamin Ali contributed to this report.