The Liechtenstein Group has expanded its forestry capabilities by acquiring a stake in the company Forest Mapping Management.

Deforestation is an issue we often read about in connection with rainforests, but it also is a problem in Europe. With a history of wars and during the decades following industrialization Europe has lost a significant portion of its forests. Today, the European Union is the world’s main trader in agricultural products, with annual imports totalling €142 billion. These imports include commodities such as palm oil, beef, cocoa, coffee, and soya responsible for deforestation in the countries that produce them.

The Salzburg-based company Forest Mapping Management (FMM) wants to support reforestation using digital technologies. The Liechtenstein Group (LIECO) has now acquired a stake in the company and is taking a significant step in helping to shape the digitalization process in forestry.

Background

LIECO is a leading provider of forest plants and forestry services in the DACH region. It is the investment arm of the family Liechtenstein, including all the companies of the Princely House. Forestry plays a key role in the group’s business and investment initiatives.

In 2020 LIECO acquired P & P and F.O Lürssen GmbH, making it the leading forest plant supplier in the DACH region with six production sites, a total production area of 335 hectares, and an annual sales volume of almost 30 million forest plants. FMM thus expands on these capabilities, adding a digital dimension.

“For LIECO, this acquisition is another important building block for the successful implementation of the corporate strategy,” says Oliver Hilpold, CEO of the LIECO Group. “Digitalization in the forest and forestry sector continues to advance, and we are pleased to play a key role in shaping this process through the acquisition of FMM. “

Digital Forest Mapping

Forest Mapping is the recording of forests using high-resolution aerial photographs and their evaluation with artificial intelligence, combined with digital solutions on stationary and mobile devices.

The precise recording of the forests enables landowners to analyse forestry and plan reforestation more efficiently. Regular aerial surveys of a forest area allow planners to analyze forestry parameters from different years and compare them. That allows an intelligent evaluation of the data over time and shows how the forest developed. FMM’s software includes forestry business processes such as timber logistics that enable digital forest management control. Because of the high dynamics in timber price development, accurate data has a high economic relevance for forest owners.

The company FMM was founded by Hermann Novak in 1989 and passed into the full ownership of Wiltraud and Hermann Novak in 2000. In 2020 and 2021 alone, FMM surveyed 440,000 hectares of forest. Renowned companies such as RK Kirchenforste Kärnten,      the Archdiocese of Vienna, Liechtensteinische Forst Kalwang, Leobner Realgemeinschaft or Forstbetrieb Schenker are among the company’s customers.

Wiltraud and Hermann Novak will continue to stay with the company. Hermann Novak welcomes the participation of the LIECO Group: “I was particularly convinced by the new owner’s long-term and sustainable investment intention. I see it as a key success factor for the future.”

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