The competition for Fletcher Challenge Forests' trees hotted up today as the company revealed it had received a revised "unsolicited" bid for its forest assests from Kiwi Forests Group .

Kiwi Forests, a consortium representing investment interests associated with high-profile businessmen Ross Green, Trevor Farmer and Adrian Burr, has made a new bid of $725 million in cash, less than its previous $750 million cash and scrip offer.

Kiwi Forests said today its new bid was equivalent to $1.49 per Fletcher Forests share and was "consistent with the $728 million carrying value of the forest estate and land in FCF's accounts".

Analysts had said Kiwi Forests' initial bid, although higher than Oregon's The Campbell Group cash only offer, would not necessarily be favoured as it was made up of $550 million in cash and $200 million in new shares in listed forest owner Evergreen Forests.

The share issue was seen as problematic as Evergreen's market cap is about $70 million.

Evergreen is no longer a participant in the Kiwi Forests Consortium but Boston-based Prudential Timber Inc is still involved, Fletchers Forests said in a statement to the NZX.

Mr Green said Kiwi Forests had "worked hard over the last few days to put together an all cash offer that would be attractive to shareholders".

"We have received clear feedback from the market that there was a strong preference for an all cash transaction with a high degree of certainty. In response, we have worked with PruTimber to put together an offer of $725 million in cash with limited conditions", Mr Green said in a statement.

Evergreen would still have an opportunity to participate in managing a substantial portion of the 106,000 hectare estate, Mr Green said.

Fletcher Forests has already signed a letter of intent to sell the estate to The Campbell Group for $685 million in cash only. That agreeement carries a $17 million break fee.

Fletchers Forests said the new offer was subject to the parties agreeing a sale and purchase agreement, due diligence, Overseas Investment Commission approval, and final approval of the sale and purchase agreement and related documentation by Kiwi Forests' board.

Fletcher Challenge Forests said it was considering the bid and expected to announce a decision within two weeks.

- NZPA