Estonia's largest landowner is the state, followed by Raul Kirjanen, a wood pellet firm owner. Most of the top ten landowners have substantial forest holdings.
Estonia comprises over 4.3 million hectares of land in Estonia. The state owns land through its structures and subsidiaries. The largest landowner is the State Forest Management Center (RMK), followed by the Land Board (Maa-amet), the State Center for Defense Investment (RKIK), the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) and state-owned energy generator Eesti Energia and the state's real estate operator, Riigi Kinnisvara AS.
Combined, the state owns 1.65 million hectares of land, or 38.4 percent of the total, according to data from Maa Finants OÜ, which monitors land transactions.
The next largest owner is the pellet producer Graanul Mets Grupp, which owns 68,182 hectares of land, or four percent, mainly via forestry companies. The group includes landowner companies Roger Puit AS, Valga Puu OÜ, Karo Mets OÜ and Voore Mets OÜ, whose shareholder is Raul Kirjanen, who recently decided to sell his pellet production, leaving himself as a minority shareholder together with his business partner Anders Anderson.
The largest landowner of the companies belonging to Graanul Invest is Roger Puit AS, which owns 35,998 hectares of land.
In third place is the Finnish-owned forestry company Tornator Eesti OÜ, which owns 65,498 hectares of land.
This is followed by the large forest owner Vestman Grupp with a total of 37,960 hectares, under which there are again several companies mainly engaged in logging: Metsamaahalduse Aktsiaselts, Põlluvara AS, AS Vestman Forest Fund. The companies belong to Aivar Berzin and Taavi Raadik.
This is followed by another large forest harvesting group, Metsagrupp Group with a total of 37,623 hectares, the companies of which, in addition to OÜ Metsagrupp, also include Halrika OÜ, Oks Trading OÜ and Karistaale OÜ. They are owned by Toomas Aab and Urho Rahnel.
The sixth largest landowner is the Kinnistu OÜ group, with a total of 23,622 hectares, which includes Palumetsa OÜ, Estonian Sustainable Forestry OÜ, Karusambla OÜ, Metsnik OÜ and Dasos Looduse Fond OÜ. The holding company is owned by Mart Erik, while the companies engaged in logging, among others, are owned by Finnish and Luxembourgish investment funds through foreign owners.
This is followed by Ingka Investments Estonia OÜ, which is engaged in logging and owns 21,243 hectares of land. The owner of the company is registered in the Netherlands.
The eighth largest landowner is forest businessman Andras Kaasik, who owns a total of 16,834 hectares of land through companies Baltwood AS and Tarmets AS and as a private person.
The Swedish-owned logging company Södra Metsad OÜ owns 16,562 hectares of land.
The group of companies related to the broad-based entrepreneur Mati Poll will end the top ten with 14,933 hectares of land, which includes Metsatervenduse OÜ, Laatre Piim AS, Tristafan Haldus OÜ, Koordi Tallid OÜ, Papiniidu Projekt AS and Pihlamaa AS.
The A&P Mets AS Group belonging to forest entrepreneurs Jüri Külvik and Ants Aidla with 14,445 hectares, which includes Sakalamaad OÜ, OÜ Sakala Põldur, AS Lemeks Jõgeva, Lemeks Põlva AS, Lemeks Tartu AS, AS Lemeks Võru also falls short of the top ten.
Editor: Roberta Vaino