Metsä Group sells 24.9% stake in Metsä Fibre
Metsä Group is reducing its exposure to pulp markets and is to sell a 24.9% share in Metsä Fibre to Japanese trading group Itochu Corporation.
Metsä Group's parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative, M-real Corporation and Itochu Corporation have agreed on a transaction in which Itochu will acquire a 24.9% strategic stake in Metsä Fibre Corporation. As a result of the transactions, Metsäliitto's ownership in Metsä Fibre will decrease to 50.2%, M-real's ownership to 24.9%, while Itochu will own 24.9% of the total share capital of Metsä Fibre.
Metsä Group and Itochu will also enter into a commercial agreement, renewing Itochu's sales agent position in selling Metsä Fibre's softwood pulp in Asia and Metsä Fibre's sales agent position in selling Itochu's hardwood pulp in Europe, which are to be set at 500,000 t and 150,000 t per annum respectively.
"We are reducing our pulp surplus according to our strategy", M-real's CEO Mikko Helander said in a press release, explaining that Metsä will still produce more pulp than it uses.
Itochu is considered one of the largest trading companies in Japan with numerous bases in 70 countries. Its trading volume for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2011 exceeded €100bn.