16 Acquisition International - Issue 11 2018 Although operating privately since 2002, Plantation Capital was officially established in 2008 in the UK, before incorporation in Sri Lanka in 2009 as Asia Plantation Capital, followed by Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. n most Arab houses, the intense and rich woody scent of agarwood wafts in the air – indicating power, affluence, and esteem. Agarwood, known as the “Wood of the Gods”, is formed in the heartwood of Aquilaria trees, and is interestingly produced when the trees become infected by mould, which is most likely the reason it is very rare in the wild. The trees are highly valuable for their heartwood that yields, once distilled, a highly-prized and extremely expensive essential oil, called Oud. Oud has been used in cultural and religious rites and ceremonies for thousands of years and is now one of the most sought-after ingredients in the global fragrance industry. Demand for the product is almost insatiable, accounting for a substantial illegal trade in previous years, and the indiscriminate logging of a species that has only narrowly escaped the fate of extinction. At the end of the 20th century, CITES or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora listed Aquilaria trees as an endangered species. Asia Plantation Capital (APC) abides by the protocol and procedures of CITES and has established a reputation for itself in the global forestry sector with its remarkable vertically integrated business model that is neatly encapsulated in the ‘Soil to Oil to You’ story. Seeing the importance and potential of the Aquilaria, APC started its very own plantations specifically for growing this endangered species in a sustainable manner. Eversince then,AsiaPlantationCapitalhasreintroduced the species to its natural habitat in several parts of Southeast Asia and is currently expanding its portfolio of forestry projects. What makes APC’s business model stand out, however, is not only the inherent sustainability of the 100 per cent pure, natural Oud that it produces, but the way in which it has been ingratiated into a complex but irresistibly efficient supply chain. Plantations, Production andValue-Added Products The group is one of the world’s fastest growing plantation management companies, leading the way in sapling cultivation, forestry growth, pioneering inoculation methods, harvesting techniques, distillation methods and product processing, while bringing important economic benefits to local communities. It also provides sustainable forestry, agricultural land acquisition and development services to the global forestry and agricultural sector for more than 10 years. The products made from the trees on APC’s estates fully comply to CITES’ requirements – a testament to Company: Asia Plantation Capital Holdings Co., Ltd. Golden Land Building, 7th Floor, Unit CD-7, Soi Mahadlek Luang 1, Rajdamri Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. Telephone: +66 2684 1084 Fax: +66 2684 1085 Website: www.asiaplantationcapital.com How a Company Turns Agarwood into a Sustainable BusinessModel I 1807AI38 the fact that the company is passionate about its role in not only making sure that there are agarwood supplies around for future generations, but also that products are sourced ethically and sustainably. Fragrance Du Bois is one of the diverse stand-alone businesses originally established by APC as a niche luxury perfume house that specialises in the creation of distinctive and unique Oud-based fragrances, crafted by fifth generation perfumers from the 17th century French traditions of Grasse. All the Oud used by Fragrance Du Bois is ethically produced and sourced on APC’s sustainably managed Aquilaria plantations. People, Planet, Profit With more than US$650 million in assets either owned or under management, APC is proving that taking the moral high ground doesn’t necessarily have to affect profitability. APCembraces themantra of ‘people, planet, profit’as the only way forward during an extended period of global economic instability, and will always point to a consistent, upward trend in the value of forestry assets over the last 200 years. “We believe in the idea of ‘holistic sustainability,” said Barry Rawlinson, Chairman of Asia Plantation Capital, “which means that it is at the forefront of all the decisions we make and the processes that we put in place. Sustainability can’t simply be at one link in the overall supply chain. It has to be at every link, and we believe that our business model accomplishes this. It hasn’t been easy, of course,” he concluded, “and it’s certainly not always the best way of making money for either ourselves or our stakeholders, but it’s something that we believe in wholeheartedly, and those who know all about us and what we do, appreciate our values and the commitments we have made.” While investors are becoming increasingly aware of the necessity for a ‘hedge’ against traditional asset classes that are always prone to the vagaries of the modern-day investment world, natural commodities, such as trees will grow, and will have inherent value irrespective of the tumult on money and/or stock markets. Asia Plantation Capital’s turnover has increased year on year, with client purchases now exceeding $200 million, and net profits have grown on a constant basis. APC is proving that sustainability and environmental awareness can be incorporated into a successful business model that provides healthy proceeds as well as peace of mind – a rare combination, perhaps, in this day and age when sustainable business models are not only becoming ever more desirable, but increasingly imperative.