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Canadians buy Great Southern land

A Canadian pension fund has emerged as the largest private owner of forestry land in Australia after paying $415 million for 252,000 hectares of timber land formerly owned by the collapsed managed investment scheme operator, Great Southern.

Nearly two years after the failure of Australia’s biggest MIS operator, its lenders will recoup only 60 per cent of the land’s valuation of three years ago, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The sale of the timber assets is the largest disposal in the near-defunct MIS sector since legislative changes triggered the collapse of the industry and the two largest players, Timbercorp and Great Southern, failed within a month of each other in 2009, crippled by too much debt.

The chief executive of Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), Australian-born Leo de Bever, said the group had been working on the deal for more than a year.

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