Stora Enso seeks buyer for Chinese board production site

Dominic Bernard
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Stora Enso has announced its intention to sell its consumer board production site in Beihai, China.

The planned divestment includes a 70,000 hectare Eucalyptus forestry operation
The planned divestment includes a 70,000 hectare Eucalyptus forestry operation

The group's planned divestment would include its 70,000 hectare forestry operation in the surrounding region, which supplies raw materials to the Beihai site.

In a statement, the company said: “The sales process supports Stora Enso’s strategy to focus on long-term profitable growth within the areas of renewable packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations.”

The divestment, it continued, will help Stora Enso to build on its market position by focusing on its profitable packaging sites, such as its paper mill at Oulu, Finland, which the company announced in October would be fully converted to produce consumer board by 2025.

Stora Enso’s €1bn (£882m) Oulu investment came on top of the firm’s pending purchase of the De Jong Packaging Group - itself a €1bn-plus deal.

The sale of the board mill and forestry operations, if effected, will be conducted separately or as a combined unit. Stora Enso has not committed to a timeline to conclude any sale, and the site will continue running as normal.

The firm said the announcement would have no immediate effect on Stora Enso’s financials.

The Beihai production site up for sale started operations in 2016, serving the Chinese market with 250,000 tonnes of mechanical pulp and 550,000 tonnes of consumer board each year.

Stora Enso owns approximately 80% of the combined production and forestry operations, alongside local partners and business bank the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It has retained J.P. Morgan S.E. as financial advisor to the sales process.

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