Fate of Gunns assets to be decided

A STRATEGY for selling the Gunns pulp mill project won't be finalised until after a second creditors' meeting about other assets of the former Tasmanian timber company.

Administrator PPB Advisory still expects the creditors meeting to go ahead on March 1, at the latest, after seeking two extensions.

At the meeting creditors will decide the fate of plantation resources held under managed investment schemes.

If no one can be found to take over as a "responsible entity" then the schemes are likely to be wound up.

Receiver and manager KordaMentha, acting for Gunns' main lenders, confirmed yesterday that it was waiting for an outcome from that meeting before finalising a sales strategy for the pulp mill permits.

That project would require vast volumes of plantation wood, so the availability of such resources is seen as critical to the possible value of the permits.

PPB Advisory has told creditors it is "in discussions with one party that has submitted a proposal" to become a replacement responsible entity.

The identity was not disclosed, but one growers' group has reported interest from Macquarie.

Premier Lara Giddings said she still hoped the pulp mill project would go ahead, but that was in the hands of the receiver, and private investors.

"The state government continues to receive updates from Gunns Ltd's receivers KordaMentha," Ms Giddings said.

"I remain hopeful that the pulp mill will be built, creating much- needed jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians."


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