Stafford raises $612m for timber secondaries

Fund VIII is focused on acquiring LP stakes and investing separately managed accounts and co-investments.

Stafford Capital Partners has hit an above-target final close on its latest timberland fund after around 19 months in market.

Stafford International Timberland VIII has raised $612.5 million for secondaries and co-investments, above its target of $500 million, according to a statement.

SIT VIII has already made three secondaries investments and one co-investment, equivalent to around 21 percent of the fund. In total it has $2.4 billion invested across 170 timberland assets, the statement noted.

The fund has been in market since November 2016 and hit a third close last September on $329 million, Secondaries Investor reported.

Timberland and agriculture funds secondaries deal volumes fell 19.5 percent year-on-year to $266 million last year, according to intermediary Setter Capital’s Volume Report FY 2017.

In May last year Swiss pension fund ASGA Pensionskasse made a $100 million commitment spread between SIT VIII and a separately managed account focusing on agriculture, the first such account created by Stafford for a limited partner.

The previous fund in the series closed on $484 million in 2015, above its $400 million target. It manages timber investments in the US, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Central America, New Zealand and Australia, Secondaries Investor reported.

Stafford Capital Partners has more than $5.4 billion in assets under management across agriculture, credit, infrastructure, private equity, sustainable capital, timberland and venture capital.