Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa advises FMO on R350 million term loan facility to JSE-listed York Timbers

South Africa Press release May 2024

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa has played a pivotal role in a significant transaction, advising Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) on a R350 million term loan facility provided to York Timbers Proprietary Limited (York), a subsidiary of York Timber Holdings Limited listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The primary objective of this facility is to refinance York's existing long-term debt facilities with the Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa and Absa Bank Limited. In addition, the remaining funds from this facility will be directed towards the acquisition of the Pine Valley farms, the implementation of an Environmental and Social Action Plan, and to serve as working capital for York.

York Timbers stands as a leading producer in South Africa, specialising in solid wood, lumber, and plywood. Their operational bases in Jessievale and Sabie manage an impressive expanse of approximately 60 000 hectares of FSC-certified pine plantations and 30 000 hectares of high conservation areas. With operations encompassing two sawmills, one plywood mill, and a recent foray into agricultural crops, York is a notable force in the industry.

The Environmental and Social Action Plan, an integral part of the facility agreement, underscores York's unwavering commitment to meeting environmental and social requirements. This includes stringent compliance with Environmental Law, Social Law, and adherence to the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.

Leading the advisory team for FMO was banking and finance director, Malibuye Cossie, alongside director Raghemah Hendricks, director Desiree Reddy, associate Kala Ilunga, and candidate attorney Eric Geldenhuys.

This transaction serves as a testament to Norton Rose Fulbright's enduring dedication to supporting sustainable development and responsible business practices. 

We are immensely proud of our team's exceptional work in facilitating this important initiative.

For further information please contact:

Motheo Motlhanke, Communications Manager

Tel: +27 11 685 8891