Paper ops sales complete

UPM has completed the sale of all of its Russian operations while Stora Enso has completed the divestment of its Hylte paper site.

05 Apr 2023 | By PrintWeek Team

Chudovo in Russia makes plywood and veneers

In a statement released on 3 April, UPM said it had now sold all of its Russian operations, including the Chudovo plywood mill, to Gungnir Wooden Products Trading. Further details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

UPM suspended its business activities in Russia, including deliveries, wood procurement, and the Chudovo plywood mill, in March 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Finland-headquartered group had employed 800 people in Russia, most of whom worked at the Chudovo mill and veneers site to the south-east of St Petersburg. The business produces plywood and veneer for building, furniture, and interiors.

Separately, the completion of the divestment of Stora Enso’s paper production site in Hylte, Sweden was confirmed by the Finnish business in a statement on 4 April.

The sale to sawmill and planing mill company Sweden Timber, which was announced in January, includes all assets related to the Hylte site.

The enterprise value of the transaction is approximately Euro 18-m and will result in the reduction of Stora Enso’s annual newsprint paper capacity by 245,000 tonnes.

Using 2022 figures as a benchmark, the divestment is expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by approximately Euro 160-m.

Stora Enso will book a disposal loss of approximately Euro 35-m, in addition to an impairment loss of Euro 19-m recorded in Q4/2022 in its IFRS operating profit in Q2/2023, as an item affecting comparability. The final value will be subject to closing date adjustments.

The transaction, part of Stora Enso’s plan to divest four of its five paper production sites, does not affect its formed fibre and biocomposite operations located at the Hylte site.

Stora Enso concluded its paper operations divestment plan in January when it halted the divestment process of its Anjala paper production site in Finland and decided to keep the facility.

The divestment of its Nymölla paper site in Sweden was also completed in January, with ownership transferred to Sylvamo, while the divestment of the Maxau paper site in Germany to Schwarz Produktion was completed in March.

Stora Enso’s Paper division was discontinued in January, with the retained Langerbrugge (Belgium) and Anjala paper production sites being integrated into its Packaging Materials division reporting.

In line with its strategy, Stora Enso said its focus moving forward is on long-term growth potential for its renewable products in packaging, building solutions, and biomaterials innovations.