Néosylva invests in the long-term future of french forests
Néosylva is investing in the long-term renewal of French forests. This is the aim of Néosylva, who have just raised €2 million from Everwood (a subsidiary of the investment holding company Evergreen), the Banque des territoires and a group of companies in the timber industry, including various sawmill companies. The young Nantes-based company offers owners a contract covering the management and revival of their forest over several decades.
On the basis of a survey and an estimate, the partner agrees on a fixed price with Néosylva corresponding to a part of the initial work. If this initial investment is shared, it is the company that then manages the forest until the trees are cut down at maturity, which takes place after 15 or 20 years for poplars and between 50 and 100 years for most species. The revenue from the wood is then shared 50-50 between the owner of the land and Néosylva , with the contract ending with the replanting of trees.
A project for the sector
“We are moving away from the usual financial models by proposing a solution that is adapted to the evolution of the forest,” explains Jean-Guénolé Cornet, a water and forestry engineer, founder of Néosylva and former Director General of ONF International. The innovation lies in this decoupling of land ownership, an idea that is not at all widespread or implemented throughout France. This first round of funding should enable the reforestation of 1,000 hectares within three years (currently 200 hectares).
Additional capital investments will follow with a goal of reaching 10,000 hectares within six or seven years, given that the overall objective is around 100,000 hectares – the amount of undermanaged forests and forests in need of revival in France.
This project addresses an environmental issue. Néosylva operates according to a charter in this sector and in the context of a trade deficit in France, a country which imports wood despite its vast forest cover.
This is because investment in forestry work has almost halved since the National Forestry Fund (NFF), which was used to boost the management of plots of land, was stopped in 2000. No majority shareholder will emerge at the end of the fund-raising, as Néosylva was conceived as a collective project of the wood industry. “We aim to provide work for several hundred people in the long term,” says Jean-Guénolé Cornet.
- Date of creation : 2018
- Chairman and founder : Jean-Guénolé Cornet
- Amount : 2 millions d’euros
- Staff : 3 people
- Sector : Wood