Sandalwood is a precious raw material that deserves special attention. An investment in the Australian sandalwood plantations of Jäderberg & Cie. promises not only a respectable return, but also sustainability at all levels. This is how impact investing works. Learn how you too can invest effectively.
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Jäderberg & Cie GmbH, Van-der-Smissen-Str. 2, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
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Fascinating, rare, valuable, sought-after, productive. This is sandalwood, one of the oldest wood species in the world. It is in demand all over the world for cultural, natural cosmetic and medical purposes, but is threatened with extinction due to over-exploitation. For about 20 years, sandalwood has been cultivated in the tropical north of Australia in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner by Quintis, the world market leader for sandalwood, on sustainably managed plantations. Sandalwood cultivation not only protects the freely growing sandalwood stock, but finally offers a sustainable source for the worldwide buyers of sandalwood.
The Hamburg-based impact investor Jäderberg & Cie ("JC") became the first international plantation investor of Quintis in 2010. Furthermore, only a handful of international institutions have been granted access to this exclusive investment. These include renowned addresses such as the Harvard University Foundation, the largest sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi Investment Council) and the Church of England. Only through the JC Group is it possible for private investors to invest in the sustainable sandalwood plantations.
JC buys the plantations and contracts Quintis to manage and harvest the plantations, then process the trees, and finally market and sell the final sandalwood products, such as essential oil, powder and wood in various forms.
The JC Group now owns around 700 hectares of sandalwood and over 1,300 investors have already invested in the five JC Sandalwood plantations through various JC Sandalwood investment vehicles.
With the current offer JC Sandalwood Invest 18, investors of Innovestment have the opportunity to benefit from the economic and ecological possibilities of sandalwood.
JC Sandalwood Investments differs from other forest or plantation investments mainly in the type of raw material grown. Typical markets for classic forest investments are the paper and furniture industry. Sandalwood, on the other hand, is in demand for the production of pharmaceutical, natural cosmetic and religious products and as a raw material achieves very high prices.
Another important factor is the mixed forest culture with which the plantations are managed. Unlike monocultures, a variety of different tree species grow on the JC plantations. These include, for example, the sandalwood trees and other host trees in a ratio of 1 to 4. This healthy ratio allows the sandalwood trees to develop their full potential. The soil also remains fertile after the harvest.
The Hamburg-based JC group has been operating its own sandalwood plantations, which are managed by Quintis, since 2010. Today, the five plantations (about 700 hectares) grow almost 350,000 sandalwood trees in the tropical north of Australia. Co-investors have access to the sandalwood investment only through the JC Group. JC is also the only entrepreneurial investor. In 2018 the marketing of sandalwood products and sandalwood was started. In 2021, JC plans to start its own natural cosmetics line based on sandalwood.
JC-Partner Quintis (Australia) Pty Limited was founded in 1997 (at that time under the name of TFS-Tropical Forestry Services) and is considered the world's leading supplier of sandalwood and producer of pharmaceutical grade sandalwood oil. Quintis has decades of expertise and state-of-the-art infrastructure and has been certified and awarded several times. In 2018 Quintis was restructured and privatized. As of today, Quintis cultivates around 5.8 million Indian sandalwood trees on its plantations, which extend over approximately 12,900 hectares.
As a plantation owner, Jäderberg & Cie is in good company. Among the other institutional investors are:
Quintis had been listed on the stock exchange since 2004. In 2017, however, the share price collapsed by around 80 percent within six weeks, partly due to short sales. This drop in the share price was triggered in particular by negative publications by a US hedge fund and the resulting pull effect.
Quintis' management had thereupon decided in mid-May 2017 to voluntarily suspend Quintis shares from trading on the stock exchange.
Until the crisis Quintis was well-equipped with liquid funds. Quintis was and still is considered to be very valuable, especially thanks to its own sandalwood plantations. However, the suspension of stock exchange trading and the resulting uncertainty about the future meant that for the first time in the company's history the budgeted income was no longer available.
Quintis therefore began to look for new shareholders with the aim of recapitalisation. A consortium was formed from the circle of various interested parties, which in the following months subjected Quintis to the usual due diligence procedures. After a refinancing did not materialise at the beginning of 2018 due to disagreements among potential investors, Quintis' management decided to initiate voluntary administration under creditor protection.
In October 2018, the restructuring was finally successfully completed with the recapitalisation. The newly created company Quintis (Australia) Pty Limited was provided with fresh, fully paid-up capital of approximately AUD 145 million by BlackRock's new consortium of shareholders and took over the business, assets and subsidiaries of the listed Quintis Ltd, including the management and other contracts of the Jäderberg & Cie. group.
The more than 200 jobs at Quintis were largely retained and the investment of more than 3,600 Australian private investors and international institutional investors (including the Jäderberg & Cie. Group and thus its investors) was successfully protected.
All international plantation investors remain "on board" at Quintis. This means that the financing is considered secured for the coming years. The management of the other plantations was also given unrestricted and top priority during the strict cost management during the voluntary administration.
Jäderberg & Cie. has been working with the plantation operator Quintis since 2010. To refinance the JC Sandalwood plantations, Jäderberg & Cie. is taking on co-investors. By means of various investment vehicles with a raised issue capital of 24.7 million euros, more than 1300 investors have participated in the sandalwood plantations.
JC Sandalwood Invest 18 GmbH & Co KG (Issuer) issues the investment in the form of qualified subordinated loans to finance its business purpose. The issuer intends to invest in and operate various Indian sandalwood plantations located in Australia and to generate profits from the sale of the harvested sandalwood or the sandalwood products processed from it.
For this purpose, it is planned that the issuer acquires shares (units) in various unit trusts (trust assets under Australian law) via an Australian business establishment, via which an Indian sandalwood plantation is leased, managed and later harvested and (through the sale of the sandalwood and in particular the sandalwood oil distilled from it) exploited (plantation shares) in trust for the respective shareholders (unit holder). The proceeds from the sale of the sandalwood products in the diversified global sales markets are then used to repay the loans granted by the investors and to pay the final total interest.
Besides JC Sandalwood Invest 18, there are other JC products on the market. With the different investment options, Jäderberg & Cie. responds to the individual needs and wishes of investors. While JC Sandalwood Invest 10 is a classic equity investment with a single premium with a minimum investment of 10,000 euros, JC Sandalwood Invest 11 offers the possibility of making a deposit in the form of a savings plan. The offer on innovestment.eu, the JC Sandalwood Invest 18, offers a convenient, completely digital processing and also appeals to investors who want to start with impact investing from 500 euros. But private investors can also find what they are looking for here: Due to the existing Small Investor Protection Act, the maximum investment amount for private investors is currently 25,000 euros per project and year. Registered companies can invest beyond that.
The JC Sandalwood plantations are located in the Australian states of Northern Territory and Queensland. In addition to the head office of Quintis, the representative office of Jäderberg & Cie is also located in Perth. The precious sandalwood oil is produced in the distillery in Albany.
|Eagle Park||Katherine, Northern Territory||about 107 ha||2012||2028||Eagle Park Tree Trust|
|Sexton||Burdekin, Queensland||about 110 ha||2013||2029||Sexton Tree Trust|
|Elliot||Burdekin, Queensland||about 75 ha||2013||2029||Elliot Tree Trust|
|Howie-Maneroo||Douglas Daly, Northern Territory||about 287 ha||2016||2032||NT2016 Tree Trust|
|Roper Plains||Mataranka, Northern Territory||about 118 ha||2017||2033||NT2017 Tree Trust|
The plantations were previously used to grow peanuts or sugar cane, or they were used as pasture land. However, monocultures damage the nutrient supply of the soil, which means that more fertilisers or plant protection products have to be used.
The sandalwood plantations, on the other hand, are designed as mixed forests. This promotes biodiversity and preserves the land for cultivation in the long term. A fact that is also highly appreciated by the locals. Because this approach is also sustainable through and through.
To answer the question, a geographical overview of the Australian continent is helpful. The major forest and bush fires that hit the headlines in 2019/2020 were mainly in the states of New South Wales west of Sydney and further south of Canberra in Victoria.
The JC Sandalwood plantations are located in the Northern Territory and Queensland, both in the tropical north of the country. The distance from Sydney to the JC Sandalwood plantations is between 1,200 and 3,000 km as the crow flies, depending on location – roughly the same distance as from Hamburg to Spain or from Hamburg to Cairo.
The fire hazard for the area of the three JC plantations in the Northern Territory is currently classified by the authorities in the lowest of six categories. The Burdekin region in Queensland, where two plantations are operated, is in the second lowest category.
Even if the past is no guarantee for the future, Quintis has only lost five (!) trees to fire in the 20 years of its operation of over 5.3 million sandalwood trees. This is due to extensive fire prevention measures.
It already starts with the selection of the location for the sandalwood plantations. In addition to the geographical location, Quintis pays attention to the proximity to water and also uses modern irrigation systems. Thus, every plantation tree is supplied with water. And if it should burn, a first extinguishing is possible.
Furthermore, there is an appropriately equipped infrastructure with fire-fighting vehicles as well as aeroplanes and helicopters that can extinguish from the air. Well-trained personnel round off the protection; this also includes the Quintis staff, who are regularly trained on this subject.
In addition to the proactive protection and control measures, JC Sandalwood plantations also have insurance cover in the event of fire damage.
A practical example:
The JC Sandalwood plantations in Burdekin in Queensland are located on a hill, surrounded by hills, in a former sugar cane growing area about 100 km long, close to the Burdekin River. Large firebreaks have been created in and around the plantations to protect them. Weeds and undergrowth are most likely to burn. These grow after the rainy season (January to April) and are either removed or routinely burned off ("controlled" or "cold fire") shortly thereafter, before it gets too high or the weather becomes too hot.
In addition to the modern irrigation systems, the local community is well-equipped. There are planes and helicopters with water bombs, fire engines and well-trained personnel. The Quintis staff are also regularly trained on this subject. These are just a few examples of the fire prevention measures on the JC Sandalwood plantations, which have resulted in no significant fire losses in the last 20 years.
Indian sandalwood and its wood and oil products as well as the end products processed from them are sought-after commercial goods all over the world.
In the western world, the essential oil of sandalwood is an important ingredient in high-priced perfumes, in serious natural cosmetics, and in the future in aromatherapy, food flavoring and the pharmaceutical industry. "Sandalwood can, among other things, contribute to the healing of neurodermatitis and psoriasis and help against multi-resistant germs," says Peter Jäderberg. In Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, the special properties of sandalwood have been known for thousands of years. However, Western orthodox medicine has also discovered the healing properties of sandalwood oil for itself. Numerous scientific studies have now proven the medical effectiveness of Indian Sandalwood Oil for various clinical pictures. Sandalwood is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It is also said to slow down the proliferation or growth of cells or micro-organisms.
The natural sandalwood stocks are almost extinct, for example, due to illegal overexploitation in India – the largest supplier of Indian sandalwood to date. Through plantation cultivation in Australia, Quintis has succeeded in replacing India as the traditional "monopolist" for Indian sandalwood. The company has a sound expertise acquired over the years, which gives it an invaluable advantage over new competitors. The high demand for sandalwood can be satisfied by growing it on the Quintis plantations. In addition, the damaged tree population in India is given the opportunity to regenerate. JC Sandalwood investors thus contribute to the protection of an endangered tree species and also make a contribution to climate protection.
Sandalwood offers a variety of uses in medicine, culture, cosmetics and nutrition. Hardly any other natural raw material can be used as differently as sandalwood, which opens up an almost inexhaustible demand potential. More than 1 billion people worldwide use the sandalwood tree in one of its processing forms.
Indian sandalwood can hardly be found in the wild anymore. The wild growing tree population is acutely endangered, among other things, by decades of overexploitation. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) therefore put this tree on the red list of endangered plant species years ago.
No matter who is president at the moment, whether stock markets collapse, real estate bubbles burst or governments change – the sandalwood trees continue to grow unimpressed. As a tangible asset, sandalwood has a low fluctuation potential and brings relaxation to the portfolio, due to its low correlation with the volatility of the capital markets and economic developments. Sandalwood as a tangible asset investment is largely independent of currency fluctuations and therefore suitable as an addition or supplement to an investment portfolio and strategy.
Only a handful of international investors had access to this exclusive investment. In total, about one third of the plantations managed by Quintis are in international hands, of which almost one fifth belong to the JC Group and its JC Sandalwood investors or co-investors (5 plantations with about 350,000 sandalwood trees on about 700 hectares). Quintis is currently not looking for new plantation investors. Only the JC Group enables co-investors to invest in sandalwood. With the relatively low entry fee starting at 500 euros, an investment in JC Sandalwood Invest 18 can be the entry point for many people into the important area of impact investing.
Jäderberg & Cie. was awarded the German Investment Prize for its JC Sandalwood investments in 2017 and 2019. The renowned award, which has been presented annually by the trade magazine BeteiligungsReport since 2008, was presented in the categories "TOP alternative investment" and "TOP impact investment".
Jäderberg & Cie. is also committed beyond its specific tangible assets. The company is also active within its industry as a member of the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen e.V. (Forum for Sustainable Investments) and the Impact Investment Action Alliance TONIIC, and also flies the flag for the Federal Association of German Foundations and as a sponsor of the Hamburg Elbe Philharmonic Orchestra.
Quintis has received several awards and certifications for its sustainable business management and environmentally friendly measures, including ISO 14001 environmental management, ISO 9001 (quality) and AS/NZS 4801 (health and safety) certification.
What connects Peter Jäderberg with the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg? And why, in his opinion, are there too few real impact investing projects? The managing director and founding partner of the Jäderberg & Cie. group answers these questions and a few more in an interview. A worth read for all those who are interested in sustainable investments and want to learn more about what really belongs to impact-oriented investing.
An investment in Indian sandalwood saves the endangered tree for future generations. Why not include them right away? With the JC Sandalwood Kids campaign, Jäderberg & Cie. offers the opportunity to use the offer to build up assets for the next generation and thus provide children with a financial springboard for the future.
The drawn JC Sandalwood participation is presented in the form of a gift box. It contains a personal text, the document of the gift and a sandalwood gift such as a sandalwood bead bracelet, key ring or colouring book. This gift idea, which is sustainable in every sense, is suitable, for example, for birth, school enrolment or religious occasions such as confirmation or confirmation.
More information on the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) can be found on the Corporate Social Responsibility page.
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