Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL) has announced that the company will re-brand as Veon Limited, forming the first full-service private forestry company in Ireland.

The re-branding follows the successful transfer of trading activity from IFS Asset Managers Ltd (IFS) to Veon.

IFS was the company which promoted the Irish Forestry Funds and has been at the forefront in recent years of establishing Ireland as a foreign direct forestry investment destination for overseas family wealth offices and institutional investors.

Veon, which employs 12 specialists, aims to revolutionise the ownership of sustainable forestry in Ireland and maximise the commercial benefits from this alternative asset class for woodland estate owners, investors and farmers.

Veon will offer all aspects of forestry management from establishing forestry for commercial and private operations to professional forestry investment services, and aims to bring clarity to the market, educate farmers and investors to make informed decisions.

According to Veon, this will enable them to unlock their forest’s true potential, resulting in increased wealth, employment and sustainability.

Daragh Little, Veon’s Managing Director – Forestry, said the company will be the new positive force for change in the Irish forestry private sector.

“Consolidation is good news for forestry growers.

“Veon will offer new forestry opportunities for Irish landowners, benefiting timber processors with continuity of supply contracts and underpinning job security in a sector which currently employs over 12,000 people in Ireland and contributes approximately €2.3 billion to our GDP.”

Irish forests are premium assets when compared to their international counterparts and we have growth rates of up to three times faster than our European neighbours.

“However, more needs to be done. Put simply Ireland is not planting enough trees; it’s not investing enough in its existing forests and is having difficulty in delivering its timber to the sawmills.

“Veon will ensure our client’s afforestation targets are not only consistently met but exceeded, working to streamline processes and help landowners realise the true value of forestry as an attractive long-term option.”

Veon is also expected to increase its number of employees over the coming months to cater to the increased demand for high-quality Irish forestry assets and professional forestry services.

Trevor McHugh, Veon’s Managing Director – Commercial, welcomed the move and is excited for the companies to continue their working relationship which began in 1998 and is now under a single corporate brand structure.

“The forestry sector has enormous potential to further contribute to the economic, environmental and social development of Ireland, and I believe Veon is the key to unlocking that potential.

“Veon will also provide a platform for Ireland to position itself as the European centre of excellence for forest management and I’m looking forward to directing Veon to reach its goal.”