Sought after since the dawn of time; revered in Middle Eastern and Asian cultures; Oud has fast become the ingredient of choice in the world's exclusive fragrances.
APC CEO Barry Rawlinson with Olivier Breda, Independent Consultant inspecting Agarwood Trees
The new brand of followers is not necessarily drawn to Oud for its almost mythical health-giving, wellbeing or even aphrodisiacal qualities sometimes portrayed in television campaigns or in glossy periodicals alongside the latest perfume du jour. Nor perhaps for its sublime aroma and richness of olfactory texture. What's stimulating interest are hard cash, and the nourishing of sustainable and environmental consciences.
Sebastien Gouspillou, Development Manager Europe - getting close with Aquilaria tree saplings
In this instance, it is a closely kept secret (of considerable value) and Asia Plantation Capital (APC) is one of the very few companies who, over the last 10 years, have achieved the seemingly improbable. Many companies claim to have made the latest and greatest scientific breakthroughs, but only APC and a handful of smaller growers and companies -- many of whom work exclusively with the APC Group -- have consistently produced results that validate their claims.
Sebastien Gouspillou, Development Manager Europe and Mrs Jinda Tonkhambai – Director of APC Malaysia with investors: Vincent De Meaux (Athos Patrimoine), Alexandre de Mahieu (Small Trees) and Patrick Philppeau (Philimmo)
Eyebrows were raised, curiosities piqued, and interest registered, with several groups taking the opportunity to visit the companies' plantations, factories and retail outlets in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, to see for themselves what all the buzz was about.
"Having seen our assets under management grow to US$600 million at the end of 2013," said Gary Crates - CEO Europe, "from investors in the know and our own shareholders in the Group's plantation projects in their countries, we found increasing interest from institutional investors, pension funds and family offices from further afield."